DescriptionThe Rotterdam metropolitan area has about 1.1 mill. inhabitants and, although located about 40 km inland, it is the largest sea port in Europe.
The current metro system comprises five lines, including lines A and B with sections operated in light-rail (sneltram) mode (i.e. with overhead power supply and some level crossings). The two original lines were referred to as the Noord-Zuid-Lijn and the Oost-West-Lijn, until in the late 1990's Rotterdam's people decided to name them after two of the city's most famous sons, the humanist and philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam, and Pieter Caland (1827-1902), the father of the Rotterdam waterway. But from 13 Dec 2009, the names Erasmuslijn and Calandlijn have been replaced by the line letters A-E.
Lijn A Lijn B Lijn C Spijkenisse De Akkers - Schiedam Centrum - Capelle a/d IJssel | Ommoord | Nesselande, 33.9 km
In Dec. 2009, the former Calandlijn became lines A, B and C. Until November 2002, all Calandlijn (east-west line) trains had their western terminus at Marconiplein, in the west of Rotterdam. The route runs underground and parallel to the river towards the city centre, where interchange to the Erasmuslijn is provided at Beurs (formerly Churchillplein). At Blaak, an underground station was also built for NS local trains to Dordrecht. The east-west tunnel terminates at the western end of Kralingse Zoom station, from where trains continue eastwards on the surface.
Marconiplein | Dijkzigt | Beurs
Leaving Capelsebrug, trains heading for 'Ommoord' or 'Nesselande' lift up their pantograph while the train is in motion to switch to Sneltram mode, whereas those going to 'Capelle a/d IJssel' continue with third rail power supply. The 8.4 km Sneltram section is totally segregated from other traffic, mostly fenced with hedges, but with several level crossings. All three eastern branches of the Calandlijn operate every 10 minutes, which allows a 3-4 minute interval along the main section. The northeastern branch, which initially terminated at De Tochten (showing 'Zevenkamp' on the destination sign), was extended mainly on a viaduct to Nesselande (1.5 km) in August 2005,. This section has no level crossings and instead of using an overhead catenary the trains switch back to third rail power supply.
Nieuw Verlaat | De Tochten | De Terp
A 12 km extension of the Calandlijn line towards the west (partly underground through Schiedam) and then under the river Nieuwe Maas (Benelux-Tunnel) to meet the north-south line at Tussenwater opened on 4 November 2002. Although initially promoted as the Beneluxlijn, the line operates as an extension of the Calandlijn serving the Tussenwater - De Akkers section together with the Erasmuslijn. Calandlijn trains from Spijkenisse run through on the eastern branch to Capelle a/d IJssel.
Tussenwater | Vijfsluizen | Parkweg
Lijn D Rotterdam Centraal - Spijkenisse De Akkers, 21.4 km
Until Dec. 2009 known as the Erasmuslijn (north-south line), line D starts underground at Rotterdam's Centraal Station, then turns south under Coolsingel, one of the city's main streets. At the southern end of Beurs station, easy transfer is provided to the Calandlijn via only one escalator. The line crosses under the Nieuwe Maas River very near the Erasmus Bridge and comes to the surface just after Wilhelminaplein from where it runs through southern Rotterdam and along the harbour on a viaduct to Zuidplein and Slinge, where about every other train terminates.
From Slinge, the line continues southwest partly at grade and partly on a viaduct through less densely populated areas to the suburbs of Rhoon, Poortugaal and Hoogvliet, and after crossing under the Oude Maas River (old Meuse) it reaches Spijkenisse, where it continues on a viaduct to the southern part of this town. The southern stretch of the line is shared by the Calandlijn.