Since the Middle Ages, Cartesius has been used as a city meadow on the outskirts of the city for city residents. Since the late 1940s, the NS has been working on trains, trams and buses here. From the train you could see the large, triangular terrain, which gave rise to the name Cartesius Triangle.

In recent years this changed with the departure of the workshops. In the intervening years, the NS, together with the Municipality of Utrecht and the surrounding area, looked for the new course to be taken. A residential area with a high sustainable and healthy ambition was developed.

Today, the CAB is made available as a breeding ground for the most diverse creative activity. The transformation of this place continues. In the coming years, Cartesius will become a full part of the city again. With homes, facilities and new slow traffic routes that connect Cartesius and surrounding neighborhoods with each other and the historic city center. Cartesius will be a vibrant, healthy city district, centrally located in the city and Utrecht Zuilen station around the corner. With the CAB as a landmark and living room for the neighborhood.

Accessibility Cartesius is located against the historic city center of Utrecht. Via a bicycle tunnel you are at Central Station in 6 minutes and via the adjacent station Utrecht Zuilen the train takes you there in 3 minutes. To enter the historic city center or to travel further. Cartesius is really part of the center of Utrecht. You can also get out of the city by car. In 7 minutes you are on the A2 and in 9 minutes on the A27 or A28.

Cycling Utrecht De Neude: 10 minutes Tivoli Vredenburg: 6 minutes Domplein: 9 minutes Centraal Museum: 11 minutes Griftpark: 8 minutes Jaarbeursplein: 8 minutes Berlijnplein: 7 minutes Walking Amsterdamsestraatweg: 7 minutes Hoog Catherijne: 19 minutes Julianapark: 12 minutes Werkspoorkathedraal: 13 minutes Lombok: 18 minutes Stadsstrand Oog in Al: 19 minutes

The central location of Cartesius Utrecht in the Netherlands is perhaps one of its greatest benefits. Whether you need to be outside the city by train or shared car, you'll be there in no time.

Train Utrecht Zuilen - Utrecht Centraal 3 minutes Utrecht Centraal - Amsterdam Centraal 26 minutes Utrecht Centraal - Rotterdam Centraal 36 minutes Utrecht Centraal - Arnhem Centraal 35 minutes Utrecht Centraal - Zwolle 52 minutes

Shared car Cartesius - Amsterdam: 30 minutes Cartesius - Rotterdam: 1 hour Cartesius - Arnhem: 1 hour Cartesius - Zwolle: 1 hour

Foto's: Juri Hiensch

1596-166: René Descartes

"Cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I am"
A statement by philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (1596-1650) who lived in Utrecht at the time when the university was founded. He is seen as the founder of modern philosophy. The Latin word for Descartes is Cartesius, which is the name that Utrecht used to name a road after him: the Cartesiusweg.
As obvious as the name "Cartesius" is in this place, it also ties in well with what we are going to do here. “I think therefore I exist” fits in with the conscious choices you make here. Consciously healthy, aware of a good balance in dynamics and tranquility, conscious in the daily choices you make. In short, live consciously.


The Cartesius Triangle was an “island” in Utrecht that served the city but managed to escape urbanization. In the Middle Ages it was used as a city meadow, part of the Utrecht city freedom. Later, the area of ​​"Trechter weyde" was transformed into a workshop with the construction of the train tracks.

Workspace CAB

The Cartesius triangle, together with the 2e Daalsedijk, belongs to the heritage of the railways in Utrecht. Traditionally, the Cartesius triangle was used as a shunting yard and workshop for the NS. Because NS no longer needed the workshops, over the years different companies were established on various lots in the area. In part, this activity is still related to the railway, such as the new Utrecht traffic control post of ProRail and railway builder VolkerRail.

The most eye-catching piece of the past is the CAB on Cartesiusweg. The former Centraal Autoherstel Bedrijf (Central Auto Repair Company) from 1949 was designed by railway architect Sybold Ravensteyn. In addition to being the owner of the rail network, NS was also a major shareholder of many bus and tram companies. To maintain all those buses, NS decided to set up a Central Workshop here. The garage was not only built for the maintenance of the buses. Also all train engines, small electric motors and frequency converters from NS, as well as those of the Amsterdam tram and the Arnhem trolleybus, found an overhaul workshop there. The building should be sober, that was the norm in the scarcity period after the war. With limited resources, Van Ravesteyn was able to give the large building at least some allure with the style elements that characterize him.

The CAB is a municipal monument. In addition to its cultural and architectural value, the CAB is also important from an urban point of view as an iconic building along the Cartesiusweg and the tracks.

The history in a nutshell:

1843 First railway line Amsterdam Utrecht

1850 First urban expansions in the area

1869 Eindhoven Den Bosch Utrecht

1892 Merwede Canal

1949 CAB

2021 First shared car in Cartesius

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Cartesius Utrecht is a development of:

MRP and Ballast Nedam Development