Dutch trains: Regional and Intercity
Regional and Intercity trains serve all major cities and smaller towns in the Netherlands.
- Book up to 120 days in advance
- Regional trains
Dutch trains: Regional and Intercity
Intercity are domestic trains operated by NS, the Dutch national railway, in the Netherlands. The trains, also known as IC, make stops between major cities. Intercity trains exist as single decker and double decker, both equipped with first and second class carriages. Many IC offer free Wi-Fi Internet on board. Seat reservations are not mandatory.
Other regional trains include the Sprinter. They are mostly used to connect major cities to smaller towns. Sprinter trains are mostly modern trains equipped with first class and second class carriages. A double decker version of the Sprinter train is also operated by NS. As in the Intercity trains, seat reservations are not mandatory.
Note: A supplement is needed when travelling on the Amsterdam Schiphol-Rotterdam route with the Intercity direct.
|Main routes||Travel time|
Receive your ticket directly to your address. Just take them with you and you are ready to travel. Shipping fees apply.
- Dutch trains: Regional and Intercity tickets are open for booking 120 days ahead.
- Get the lowest prices by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell the fastest.
- Opt for off-peak trains when you have to travel short notice. They are more affordable than morning and evening trains along with those running on holiday eves, Friday and Sunday afternoon.
A class apart
Classes of service
|First class||Second class|
|Comfortable seats Spacious seats with a headrest and generous legroom. small>|
|Ergonomic seats Cosy with more legroom, ergonomic seats are ideal to enjoy the trip. small>|
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
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Q. Does my train ticket include a seat reservation?
A. Rail Europe tickets include a reservation whenever possible. To tell if you have a reservation, see if you received one or two travel documents for your trip. If you received two travel documents, you probably received an open ticket and a reservation. The reservation portion will show a train number, car number and seat number assigned to you personally.
If you received only one document, you should also see if it indicates a seat number and car number. If so, your ticket includes a reservation.
The only case where you may not have a reservation with your ticket is if you received an open ticket. With these tickets, you can simply hop on any non- reservable train that travels on the route for which you bought your ticket.
Q. Can a rail pass be issued as an e ticket or e pass?
A. At this time, most rail passes are printed as a paper document and must be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe. If a rail pass is offered as an e-pass this option will be offered at the time of booking. For rail passes offered as e-passes, you will need to print it out on paper prior to arriving at the train station.
Q. If there’s been a strike, how do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Only some train tickets are eligible for reimbursement due to strikes. Please send your tickets back to our Rail Europe office at the address included in the Rail Protection Plan™ documentation that accompanied your train tickets or rail pass, and include the traveller’s Request Form.
A European railway official at the station must have stamped the train ticket indicating it was not used due to a rail strike. Requests for refunds of printed e-tickets in relation to a rail strikes must follow the procedure mentioned above. If the e-ticket has not been printed, requests for reimbursement can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, prior to the train departure date.
Notice of any refund request in relation to a strike must be given within thirty 30 days of your return from Europe. Rail passes are generally not eligible for a refund in cases of a strike under the Rail Protection Plan™.
Q. If my train crosses a border, will I need to show my passport to the conductor?
A. If you’re traveling between countries participating in the Schengen Agreement, you will not need to show your passport at the border crossings. If you are traveling between countries not part of the Schengen Agreement, you will have to show your passport at border crossings. Please note that not all countries of the EU participate in the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Great Britain, Ireland). On the other side, there are countries which are not part of the EU but which participate in the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Switzerland, Norway).
Q. Can a reservation date on an overnight train be changed?
A. This is possible in some cases, but with the limited availability of overnight trains, please do it as soon as you can and at least 24-hours before the train’s departure. New reservations will be required when you reschedule. Make sure to check the fare rules for the reservation you’ve purchased so you’re aware of the exchange policies. If you’re already traveling in Europe and need to make a change, you may be subject to local service fees and/or upgrade charges.
Q. What should I do if a strike has been announced in the country I’m traveling to?
A. Typically, a strike only affects a few trains along certain routes. If a strike is called within a country, you may continue your travels if there are train services operating. If your train is affected by a strike, railway officials typically provide accommodations for either alternate train, or in some cases, bus transportation.
If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a strike, and alternate transportation has not been offered or if you decline the alternate transportation, then a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used Due to strike” before the original train departure time. Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
This process will allow you to submit that train ticket/reservation for a refund. Please be sure that all refund requests are received by our Customer Relations department within 30-days of the train departure date.
Q. Once on the train platform, how can I find my car? Is there a difference between where first and second class carriages are located or how they look on the outside?
A. Typically you will see a (1) or a (2) or the words “First” or “Second” or a combination of both on the outside of the train car indicating First or Second class. Once you board the train, you’ll notice that some trains have inside indicators for first or second class. Some high speed trains have headrest covers that state the class of service.
For certain high speed trains such as the Thalys, TGV, or Eurostar you’ll also find displays right on the platform indicating where each car of the train will be located for boarding. You can use this chart to find the mark on the platform corresponding to the car you would like to board. It is a good rule of thumb to arrive at the station early so that you can find the train and the right car matching the class of service on your pass or ticket.
And of course, you can always ask a railway official or conductor for assistance.
Q. What is a Diabolo fee?
A. The Diabolo fee is a supplement for utilizing the trains in and out of the Brussels Airport Station in Belgium. This nominal fee can be paid at the station or on board the train.
Q. What's the difference between a rail pass and a train ticket?
A. A rail pass and a train ticket are two completely different types of travel documents.
A train ticket is valid for a single journey between two cities. Many tickets also include a reservation, which mean that they are valid only for a specific train, on a specific date and at a given time. To learn more about tickets, read our article: tickets explained.
A rail pass, on the other hand, is good for travel in an entire geographical area (1 country, 2 countries or more). With it you can take as many train trips as you want within that geographical area, for as many travel days as you purchased, within a set period of time (the pass validity period).