In the mid nineteenth century a surge occurred in the construction of railways and stations in the Netherlands. The railways fundamentally changed the Netherlands and now form a tangible part of our socio-economic and cultural history. The railways and stations also had an unquestionable influence on the spatial development of the cities.
The railway station areas are among the most dynamic places in the country. Therefore, it is quite amazing that many of the old stations are still in operation, with or without adjustments. The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS, the Dutch railway company), ProRail (the Dutch rail infrastructure managers) and Bureau Spoorbouwmeester (the Chief Government Railway Architect’s office) are very much aware of the cultural heritage value. Consequently, they set up The Collection, a selection of fifty characteristic station buildings that illustrate the story of the evolution of Dutch railway stations. To guarantee that these stations reflect the history of the railways and at the same time keep functioning as optimal contemporary railway station areas, heritage and valuation assessments are carried out in respect of all of these fifty buildings, in order to establish the qualities, essential values and concepts. In this way, opportunities for future extensions, adjustments and area development become clear.
Per station, the historical research and the analysis result in a valuation, recommendations and challenges for the future.