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Subject: Barendrecht train accident, Ridderkerk, A29 motorway (Netherlands), South Holland, Rotterdam
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A water tower standing in the middle of several small, end 19th-century houses
Water tower of Barendrecht
 • Body Municipal council
 • Mayor Jan van Belzen (SGP)
 • Total 21.73 km2 (8.39 sq mi)
 • Land 19.83 km2 (7.66 sq mi)
 • Water 1.90 km2 (0.73 sq mi)
Elevation[3] −1 m (−3 ft)
Population (May 2014)[4]
 • Total 47,442
 • Density 2,392/km2 (6,200/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Barendrechter
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Barendrecht (   ) is a town and lordship in the Netherlands, located as a suburb of Rotterdam in the province of South Holland. The municipality had a population of 47,442 in 2014, and covers an area of 21.73 km2 (8.39 sq mi) of which 1.90 km2 (0.73 sq mi) is water. The writer Jan Geurt Gaarlandt has been Lord of Barendrecht since 1995.[5]

The municipality of Barendrecht also includes the following communities: Barendrecht-Carnisselande, Smitshoek.


The name "Barendrecht" is derived from the Germanic word birni, translated as "mud" or "muddy", and the Latin word trāiectum translated as "to cross (a river)" to denote a muddy river crossing.[6][7]

The current municipality of Barendrecht is located in the area of three former fiefdoms: East-Barendrecht, West-Barendrecht, and Carnisse. The oldest reference to East-Barendrecht is from 1264. These fiefdoms were in Riederwaard, an area reclaimed from water since the 12th century but had to deal with frequent dike breaches throughout the 13th and 14th centuries. Further stages in land reclamation, constituting the major part of modern Barendrecht, were the Binnenland polder (1484), Buitenland polder (1555) and Zuidpolder (1649).

During the French Period, the three fiefdoms were merged into one municipality Barendrecht. After the French Period, it was split into East and West-Barendrecht, but in 1836 it was again united as one municipality.


Topographic map of Barendrecht (town), Sept. 2014

Topographic map of Barendrecht (town), Sept. 2014


The population of Barendrecht increased ten-fold in the last 80 years from just under 5,000 in 1930 to close to 50,000 in 2010.[8] During this time the number of homes increased as well, there was an eight-fold increase in the number of homes in the last 50 years from 2,200 in 1961 to 18,400 in 2011.[9] The overall population increased, whereas the number of persons per household decreased. This is consistent with the general trend in the Netherlands over this period.[10]

In 2012, Barendrecht had a population of 47,055, of which 23,230 were male (49.4%) and 23,825 female (50.6%). According to the civil registry, 21% of its population were under the age of 14, 11% were between 15 and 24 years old, 27% were from 25 to 44, 28% were from 45 to 64 and 13% were 65 years of age or older. The marital status of the municipality was distributed such that 46% of it population was married, 45% never married, 6% divorced and 4% widowed. Twenty percent of the population of Barendrecht was from foreign origin, which is one percent point below the national average of twenty-one percent. The foreign origin of the municipality was 7% Western, 4% Suriname, 3% Turkey, 2% Morocco, 1% Dutch Caribbean and 4% from other countries.[11]

Barendrecht had 18,615 households in 2012, this corresponds to an average of 2.5 persons per household. Of these households, 24% were made up of individuals, 30% were couples with no children under 18 living with them and 45% contained children under 18.[11]


Barendrecht is home to two badminton,[17] basketball,[18] handball,[19] hockey,[20] korfball,[21] tennis,[22] track and field,[23] volleyball[24] and water polo.[25] Due to its proximity to Rotterdam, Barendrecht occasionally is the scene for road events starting or finishing in Rotterdam, it is the penultimate municipality on the route of the 520 km (320 mi) annual Paris-Rotterdam relay run.[26]

Athletes from Barendrecht have also had individual success, mostly notably quadruple Olympic swimming champion Inge de Bruijn. She won four gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals in the freestyle and butterfly events at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics.[27] During her career she won a total of 36 medals in major competitions, 18 of these medals were gold. She has also held three world records in long course swimming.[28] Several players on the Dutch water polo teams during the 1984 and 2000 Summer Olympics were from Barendrecht as well.[29]


Barendrecht, as all Dutch municipalities, is ruled by both a board of mayor and aldermen and a municipal council. The municipal council is elected every four years.[30] The number of councillors varies over time due to changes in the municipal population. It is the highest administrative body in the municipality and controls public policy. The executive power lies with the executive board, which consists of a mayor and multiple aldermen. The mayor is appointed by the crown and the alderman are elected by the municipal council, typically after each municipal election.[31] Thieu van de Wouw, member of the CDA party, was major of Barendrecht from 1989 to his retirement in 2005.[32] Jan van Belzen was appointed as mayor in July 2005, Van Belzen was mayor of Graafstroom before taking the same function in Barendrecht.[33] In 2011 Van Belzen was appointed for another six-year term as mayor.[34] The municipal council has traditionally been contested by national parties, the first local party was founded for the 2014 elections. The local representation per party typically changed with the national fortunes of these parties. The most recent municipal elections were held in 2014; the local party Our Interest Barendrecht won nine out of 29 seats, Christian Democratic Appeal won the largest share of the popular vote of all national parties in that election.[35]
Municipal election results
2006 2010 2014
Party Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Our Interest Barendrecht Did not participate 5,661 28.88 9
Christian Democratic Appeal 3,949 21.56 6 3,481 19.48 6 3,403 17.36 5
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy 4,887 26.68 7 5,638 31.55 9 3,239 16.53 5
ChristianUnionReformed Political Party 2,504 13.67 4 2,377 13.30 4 2,507 12.79 4
Democrats 66 936 5.11 1 1,950 10.91 3 2,434 12.42 3
Labour Party 4,118 22.48 6 2,289 12.81 4 1,490 7.60 2
GreenLeft 1,923 10.50 3 2,137 11.96 3 866 4.42 1
Total valid votes 18,317 100 27 17,872 100 29 19,600 100 29
Invalid/blank votes 108 0.59 97 0.54 151 0.76
Total 18,425 17,969 19,751
Registered voters/turnout 30,742 59.93 34,540 52.02 35,499 55.64
Source: 2006,[36] 2010,[37] 2014[35]

Most policy decisions by the municipality do not garner widespread attention. Barendrecht is faced with the same issues as other suburban municipalities in providing public services and managing land-use planning. To study industrial scale carbon capture and storage methods, large-scale demonstration projects have been suggested to study what happens – the safety and other effects can only be fully studied in large-scale experiments.[38] In 2007 it was suggested to inject 10 million metric tons (11,000,000 short tons; 9,800,000 long tons) of carbon dioxide 2 km (1.2 mi) underground in former gas fields in Barendrecht.[39] Earlier studies had suggested to avoid trials in densely populated areas, such as Barendrecht, to eliminate the risk of a repeat of the Lake Nyos disaster.[40] The suggestion to make Barendrecht a test site was met with local criticism, because of the experimental nature of the plan and because no ongoing monitoring of the fields would be performed.[41][42] The municipal council of Barendrecht rejected the plan in June 2009 after their concerns were not met.[43] The central government initially opted to overrule the council; they reversed their opinion in October 2010 and cancelled the plan.[39][44]



Aerial view of a traffic interchange with trees and houses in the rest of the image
Vaanplein interchange

Two Dutch motorways pass through Barendrecht: A15 motorway and A29 motorway. The A15 runs west to east along the northern part of town and is part of the Rotterdam ring road, the exit IJsselmonde is located in the north-east of Barendrecht. The A29 runs north to south and divides Smitshoek and Carnisselande from the rest of Barendrecht, the exit Barendrecht is located in the south of the municipality. Vaanplein, the Interchange between the A15 and A29, is situated within the borders of Barendrecht. The A29 leaves Barendrecht in the south through the Heinenoordtunnel under the Oude Maas.[45]

Glass entrance to station with bikes in front
West entrance to the railway station


Two railways pass through Barendrecht: The Betuweroute and the Breda–Rotterdam railway. The Betuweroute is a double track freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany and runs along the north and east sides of Barendrecht, Queen Beatrix opened this route in Barendrecht in 2007.[46] The Breda–Rotterdam railway, originally known as Staatslijn I when it opened in 1872, runs along the east side of Barendrecht. The Barendrecht railway station is located on this railway and was initially opened in 1872 and moved to its current location in 2001. The nine tracks running by the station are covered over a length of 1.5 km (0.9 mi) to reduce the noise to the surrounding neighbourhoods.[47]

The Nederlandse Spoorwegen services the station with trains departing in each direction – towards Dordrecht to the southeast and Rotterdam to the northwest – four times an hour during the day during workdays and two times and hour during the rest of the railways' normal service hours.[48][49] Both railways merge just north of the station, at this point a train accident occurred in 2009. Two freight trains collided head on, one of the drivers was killed and another seriously injured, a passenger train could not stop in time and collided with the wreckage.[50][51]

Local public transit

As a suburb of Rotterdam, Barendrecht is serviced by multiple modes of public transit to serve commuters. Tram line 25 of the RET runs north-south through the western part of Barendrecht and runs from its southern terminus in Barendrecht to the Rotterdam Centraal railway station through the city centre and further to its northern terminus in Schiebroek. The RET also operates several buslines through Barendrecht: Three lines, via different routes, from the railway station to Zuidplein, a line from the railway station to Kralingse Zoom, and a short local route from Zuidplein to the Barendrecht community of Smitshoek and another short line departing from the east side of the railway station. Arriva runs two additional bus-lines: A line from city hall to the Heinenoord bus terminal, and a line from the Barendrecht railway station to the Zwijndrecht railway station.[52]

Notable people


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  30. ^ Article 129, Constitution of the Netherlands. Retrieved on 24 April 2013.
  31. ^ Article 61.1 and 35.1, Gemeentewet [Municipalities Act], Act No. 96 of 14 February 1992 (in Dutch). Retrieved on 8 April 2013.
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  43. ^ Principebesluit CO2 opslag [Principle decision carbon storage], Gemeente Barendrecht. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
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External links

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  • Official website
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