In the Netherlands, ProRail (Dutch pronunciation: [proːˈreːl]) is a government task organisation that takes care of maintenance and extensions of the national railway network infrastructure (not the metro or tram), of allocating rail capacity, and of traffic control. Prorail is a part of NS Railinfratrust, the Dutch railway infrastructure owner. It consists of the following infrastructure management organisations:

  • Railinfrabeheer (Rail Infrastructure Management, RIB)
  • Railned (railway capacity allocation - long-term planning, more than 52 hours before the day of the train service)
  • Railverkeersleiding (traffic control - short-term planning, less than 52 hours before the day of the train service)
Government agency
IndustryRail Transport
ProductsRail Infrastructure Management, Railway Capacity Allocation, Traffic Control
Revenue 1.286 billion (2017)
39 million (2017)
0 (2017)
Number of employees
4,399 (2017)

The rail capacity supplied by ProRail is used by several public transport operators:

Its Utrecht headquarters is in the former offices of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (known as De Inktpot, "The Inkwell"), the largest brick building in the Netherlands. The building currently features a "UFO" on its facade resulting from an art program in 2000.


Funding for ProRail is provided by a government subsidy, and a fee paid by the railway operators (called infraheffing). The government subsidy totalled around €2.5 billion from 2014-2017,[1] and the infraheffing totalled approx. €200 million in 2006, the remaining income was listed as 'other'. The fee that the public transport operators have to pay for this is lower than the cost, but increasing. In 2003 it was €0.64 per train km and €0.54 to €2.16 for stopping at a station.

Performance oriented maintenance

Railways in the Netherlands are not maintained by ProRail itself. Instead, it is subcontracted to recognised maintenance contractors. The Dutch railway network is subdivided into 21 areas. [2] For each area, all of the regular maintenance is contracted as one package, which is won by the contractor that submits the best offer. The contractor receives a fixed sum per month, and is fined in case of failure to meet the required performance. Contractors are incentivised to minimise cost, while ensuring good performance of the assets. This is called prestatiegericht onderhoud (performance oriented maintenance).[3]

As of 2019, the recognised maintenance contractors are:

See also

  • Transportation in the Netherlands


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