ROTTERDAM - Rotterdam is the first city in the Netherlands a subway system. Today bought Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus symbolically the first card, for the project that had worked for years in Rotterdam.

Compared to other major cities, as Hamburg, London and Paris, the metro of Rotterdam is the largest and most modern. "But there's nothing else wrong with it", Zei His Tappert, Subway in Hamburg at the Telegraph. Like his colleagues in Paris and London, He was at the official opening.

Chief guest at the opening was obviously Princess Beatrix. After a brief conversation with the driver, including technical explanation, They took place in the subway car.

The ride on the 5,9 kilometers was graced with bands at all intermediate stations. When Subway on South came above ground, dozens of ships in the harbor resounded their horn. From a Russian ship from Odessa Russians waved cheerfully to the passing metro.

The official opening was an hour earlier. Princess Beatrix gave De Doelen a touch of a slide projector, so you can see pictures of all seven metro stations were. The pair had been offered a subscription for life.


The construction of the subway line between Rotterdam Central Station and Zuidplein took seven years and cost 170 miljoen gulden. Most of the money sat in the tunnel under the Nieuwe Maas, the second tunnel under the river (after Maastunnel).

The tunnel sections were built at the Leuvehaven. Then they were immersed in the river. The rest of the underground path was made with open pits. Coolsingel was hardly used for years for the construction of the subway.

Engineer Plantema of the municipality of Rotterdam (main tunnel) was as head of the subway project a royal award. He was appointed by Secretary Keyser on behalf of Queen Juliana an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.


Yet not everyone was happy about the new line. The line works fine, but the RET has also adjusted the schedule of other lines. And therefore public transport does not more seamless for everyone.

The biggest change is that no more trams ride on the Willemsbrug. This put an end to a period of 84 years of trams north over the bridge- and connect south together.

Around twenty to one left tonight the last old 'Line 2' station Hilledijk as terminal.

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One of the changes involves the new tram line 2 a light rail. But residents of the district Hordijkerveld not see down the tram. "Light rail killer" could be read on banners on the Bund Reyer. The tram goes tomorrow for the first drive.

Opponents point out that every day 1200 children have to cross the railway line at the Christmas Dijk. In places like Dordrecht (2) in Borne (3) a light rail has already cost several lives, zeggen ze.

The protesters were planning to disrupt the celebratory first ride the tram, but the authorities were aware. But when Mayor Thomassen took action.

In loudspeakers car he was driving on the dike Reyer to the protesting residents, on the tram line 2 stood, move to go home.

(Trouw, 10-02-1968)

The blocking of the light railway traffic with experts had already failed at that time. The protesters had calculated that the tram around thirty which would pass location. But the church had the trip with the tram early. Thus, the tram was already around four hours past the place where the demonstrators would gather.

Mayor Thomassen told the demonstrators that he had for the members of the action group and understanding that he would discuss the "issue Christmas Dijk 'in the council.

Hoe ging het verder?

The development of the Rotterdam metro was almost immediately further. On the same day the opening of the subway was celebrated, asked the city council to the city council 28 million guilders release to extend the subway to Pendrecht.

In 1970, two years later, Metro opens to Sway. Four years later, the line continues to Hoogvliet. In 1985 is narrowed down to the same line to Spijkenisse.

In 1982 opens the East-West line between Capelsebrug and Coolhaven.

Sinds 2010 former Hofpleinlijn connected to the Rotterdam metro. Since then, the subway has become 78,3 kilometer.

Moreover, it would have to 1977 while before Amsterdam received a subway.


The adjustments for light rail 2 in IJsselmonde have kept tempers also stopped working. he will 3.700 signatures collected by an action committee. Burgmeeester Thomassen leave a few days later to know that "not too bad with the dangerous situation '. Especially since the ward council had decided that a part of the Christmas street is closed.


Het Vrije Volk – 18-01-1968 – Wijkraad momentum own course

Het Vrije Volk – 10-02-1968 – The goal is reached!

Telegraph – 10-02-1968 – Not according to program ...

Trouw – 10-02-1968 – Couple bought ticket for first ride

Wikipedia – Rotterdam Metro

Text: Dave Datema

published: 09-02-1968

story number: 64