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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.
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- 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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Reviews & ratings Dutch trains: Regional and Intercity
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. If I arrive at the station early, will I be able to board my train?
A. You may be able to board the train early, but it depends on a few things…
First, early boarding may possible if you are boarding the train in the city from which it originates. If you are boarding a train on one of the stops along its routes, then the train won’t be in the station until a few minutes before the time indicated on your ticket.
Even if you are boarding in the very first city from which your train departs, the platform may only be indicated 15 minutes or so before departure. Though early, you may find yourself in the train station with no information as to which platform the train is located.
In any event, we typically advise you get to the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This way when your train is ready to board, you can hop on and take your seat without having to rush through the station.
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).
Q. What should accompany the train ticket or rail pass I'm sending back for a refund?
A. When you submit your train ticket or rail pass to our customer relations department for a refund, be sure to include a brief letter along with any other supporting documentation, such as letters from local train operators, replacement tickets (if any), etc.
If you are making a claim through our Rail Protection Plan™, please download and fill out the Rail Protection Plan traveller’s Request Form and send, along with the appropriate documents.
We recommend that you send all documents by traceable mail for proof of delivery.
Q. Can I choose a specific seat on a train when making my reservation?
A. At this time, it’s not possible to choose a specific seat on our website when booking a reservation.
Q. What information does Rail Europe retain from my Facebook account?
Q. Do I need to purchase a reservation and if I do, how do I book it?
A. To find out if the train you plan on taking requires travellers with a pass to purchase a seat reservation, use our reservation booking tool.
You can book most reservations from our website or mobile site, prior to your departure to Europe. In some countries, Greece and Portugal as an example, seat reservations are mandatory for some trains and can only be purchased locally.
If you’re already in Europe, you can still purchase your reservation from us as long as e-tickets are offered for the train you wish to travel on.
Q. Do I need to make a reservation if I’m traveling with a rail pass on an overnight train?
A. Yes. Even with your rail pass, you will need to make a reservation on any overnight train. Reservations are required for sleeping compartments, couchettes, and seats. Depending on where you’re traveling, the guidelines of the specific train and/or the type of rail pass you have, you may be entitled to purchase a reservation in place of a full price ticket.
You can search for overnight reservations directly on our website - just be sure to select the "I have a rail pass" option.
Q. I recently saw a fare on your website that I can’t find anymore. Why?
A. Just like airfares, train fares fluctuate over time. In most cases, the fare you’re quoted on our website is based on current availability at the time of your request. It’s possible that the fare quoted to you has sold out and become unavailable. However, know that the new fare you see on our website is always the cheapest fare offered, based on current availability.
Q. Can I sit in Second class if I have a First class rail pass?
A. Yes you can, provided there is an available seat. If you are traveling on a train that requires reservations, you can reserve your seat in Second class with a First class rail pass (subject to availability). Please note that there will be no refund given for the difference in fare.
Q. Can I bring my pet on board?
A. Generally, cats and dogs are allowed on trains, though they may need to be contained in a pet carrier or wear a muzzle or leash. Pets are not allowed on some trains in Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Norway, and Finland. Currently the only animals that are permitted to travel on Eurostar are guide dogs for the visually impaired.
Some trains require advance reservations for pets. Unfortunately, Rail Europe cannot make reservations for your pet. This will need to be done locally. In general, dogs normally travel at half the fare of a second class ticket, payable directly to the conductor.