Class DDM (Double-Deck Coaches)
Number series (not ending on 9 or 0):
The double deck coaches class DDM were ordered to cope with the high number of
passengers and restricted platform length in the province of North Holland.
French double deck coaches had been tested between Amsterdam and Amersfoort,
but it was chosen to use a new design.
The coaches have two sets of very wide doors (1900mm) to allow fast passenger entrance and exit. These doors are located above the bogies on the "middle level". Both levels can be reached by stairs, and are 2 meters high. They operate in fixed formations of 5/6/7 coaches with a locomotive class 1600 (renumbered to 1800 from 1999) in push/pull mode. The driving trailers have pantographs such that power is available for the train during the night (for heating etc.), when the locomotives are used for freight trains. These driving trailers got names of endangered species, like "Cheetah" and "Dolphin".
They still operate rush hour trains to Amsterdam from the province of North Holland (especially Hoorn Kersenboogerd - Amsterdam CS) but also on the line between Utrecht CS and Rhenen (Veenendaallijn). 14 coaches (type Bv) have been rebuilt for the use in InterCity trains, and are used between Haarlem and Eindhoven/Maastricht. In the winter they provide extra (uncomfortable) seating, during the summer the furniture on the lower floor is removed to be able to transport bikes. In November 2000 even two driving trailers were rebuilt to operate in InterCity trains (nrs. 101 and 102). They operate at the end of the train, but they cannot be used to drive the locomotive.
At the end of 2003 all trainsets got a fixed length of 6 coaches. These are used on the express trains Amersfoort Schothorst - Amsterdam - Alkmaar. With the new timetable of December 2006 all use of these double-deck coaches in InterCity trains ended and they have been built back into their original condition. They are now once again used for rush-hour trains from Enkhuizen/Hoorn and Lelystad/Almere to Amsterdam.
During 2009 these coaches, now all in 6-car formations (12x), will be given a number in the 7200-class, and be operated as a trainset.