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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Randstadrailstation Beatrixkwartier, The Hague, Netherlands

Tubular train station adds new dimension to The Hague's business district
Randstadrail is a project for a new light urban rail network for the area between The Hague and Rotterdam. In the centre of The Hague, in the Beatrixkwartier office district, a link between the tram viaduct at the Ternoot stop and the NS (Dutch Railways) railway embankment close to the Laan van NOI station was needed. To achieve this a viaduct has been built over the entire length of the Beatrixlaan, with a new station halfway.

The space-frame tubular construction of the viaduct follows the curve that Joan Busquets has set out for the alignments and the roadways on the Beatrixlaan.

For a length of 400 metres the viaduct is constructed from a skeleton structure of rings of mild-steel strips with a diameter of about 10 metres, interconnected by diagonally set tubes to form an open tube structure. The relatively great structural height of the tube makes it easy to cover the large spans. The construction is supported by V-shaped columns and provides room for two tracks for passing trains. Thanks to the big spans of 40 and 50 metres there are only few columns at street level. There is also hardly any visual obstruction at eye level, so that social safety and traffic safety are not compromised.

The new Beatrixlaan station has a platform in the middle. The railway tracks split as they reach the platform. The access for this type of platform is compact: the stairway and lift are used by people travelling in both directions. The spatial form of the station derives from a combination of the alignment and the profile of empty space. This means that the station building provides exactly enough space for the trains to travel around the platform in the ideal curve. In addition, the platform is wide where people stand waiting and thinner at the access stairs.

Since its opening in 2006 the station has become a well-known landmark in The Hague, commonly called the “Netkous” (fishnet stocking).
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