Our performance in a wider context

Punctuality in a busy railway network

A comparison between punctuality and track occupancy in eighteen countries shows that NS is one of the top three. The Netherlands has shared the top spot for many years now with Switzerland and Japan, both of which also achieve a high level of punctuality on heavily congested tracks.

  • * The number of train-kilometres is the total volume of traffic on the railway (number of trains multiplied by the distance they cover). The number of route-kilometres is the length of the tracks.


In comparison with many other European countries, Dutch rail passengers travel in newer trains that are more frequent and are more likely to be on time. Passengers pay fares for their train tickets that are around the average for the countries in the comparison (+4%). Furthermore, the amount of tax money invested in the railways in the Netherlands is relatively low. Even so, NS receives more complaints per passenger than carriers in other countries. These findings come from the international benchmark that NS and ProRail arranged to be carried out. In this benchmark, the performance on the Dutch railway network in the period 2011-2015 was compared with seven other carriers in Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.


Our reputation is an indicator for the attractiveness of travel with NS. NS obtains regular measurements of its reputation using the RepTrak method (from the Reputation Institute). The reputation of NS weakened in the period 2010-2012. This fall was caused, among other things, by the performance of the railways in three successive winter periods, the tragic train accident in Amsterdam in 2012 and the developments around Fyra/V250. In 2014, the measurement of NS’s reputation rose to an average annual score of 53.5 (on a scale of 100). This positive development did not continue in 2015. The reputation score fell to 51.9. This was partly due to one or two major disruptions, the attention given to aggression against NS staff, the irregularities in the tender in Limburg and the parliamentary inquiry into Fyra.
In 2016, an improvement was seen (55.2), which was sustained in 2017 with an average score of 58.8. That score is above the target for 2017. The improvement was in part the result of greater punctuality for passengers and fewer cancellations, which meant a more reliable product for passengers. The media attention paid to NS was comparable to the year before. The positive development in our reputation is also reflected in the development in customer satisfaction. Our target is a reputation score of 60 by 2020.

Development NS RepTrak pulse score

More sustainable image for NS

As of 2017, all our electric trains run on wind power. That is one reason why NS is a trendsetter in sustainable mobility. Thanks to our sustainability efforts, we have been able to make it clearer to Dutch consumers that NS is the leading sustainable option if they want to travel anywhere. The 2017 Dossier Duurzaam sustainability survey shows that NS is the only company in the top 20 whose sustainability reputation has improved. Indeed, NS had the most sustainable image this year in the transport sector.
Dossier Duurzaam also shows an upward trend in the attention consumers are paying to sustainability. Companies are lagging behind the expectations of consumers. Almost three quarters of respondents think it is important for companies to operate sustainably but only one in five consumers think that companies make a positive contribution to the world. NS ended 12th in the list of major brands (17th in 2016).


27% of direct CO2 emissions in the Netherlands are caused by the transport sector (source: CE Delft). CO2 emissions from the railways have decreased in recent years, whereas those from the transport sector as a whole have increased substantially. Emissions lead to global warming. At the Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015, countries agreed to stay below an increase in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius. NS is contributing to this with its verified objectives for saving energy and becoming greener. As a result of these measures we have seen a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions by NS in the Netherlands over the last five years. Travelling by train is better for the environment than many other forms of motorised transport, given that the CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre are virtually zero. In terms of energy consumption, in 2017 NS was a good 35% below the European average of the UIC international railway norm of 0.11 kWh per passenger-kilometre.

Sustainable mobility

Over 50% of car-kilometres in the Netherlands are facilitated by employers. As a consequence, employers are a key factor in reducing CO2 emissions due to mobility. At the initiative of the employers’ organisation VNO NCW, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Nature and the Environment and NS, fifteen organisations joined forces in 2015 to encourage sustainable mobility among their employees. They formed the group Anders Reizen (andersreizen.nu). In 2017, this group grew to 40 participating companies representing 290,000 employees in the Netherlands.
The organisations met up several times in 2017 to learn from their successes and bottlenecks. Based on the best practices, a list of the top eight measures with the most impact was drawn up for reducing CO2 emissions caused by work-related mobility. Supra-company factors inhibiting more sustainable mobility, such as tax issues and employee benefits, are to be discussed in central workgroups.