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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.
|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>|
From our travel community
Reviews & ratings Dutch trains: Regional and Intercity
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Are there facilities on board for disabled travellers?
A. Special amenities for disabled travellers are offered on trains and at many train stations, and are clearly indicated with pictograms (for telephones, toilets, elevators, etc.).
Special equipment is also available for use by disabled travellers but must be reserved locally in advance. You can do this while you’re in Europe by inquiring at the train station or through your hotel concierge.
Be sure to specify if you need personal assistance (whether with a wheelchair, boarding, etc.).
Q. What should I do if I missed my scheduled train? Can I take the next one?
A. If you’re traveling with open tickets, you can take any train that doesn’t require a reservation, traveling on the route for which your open ticket was issued.
If you have an open train ticket and a reservation, you can forfeit your reservation and still use your open ticket on a train running on the same route that doesn’t require a reservation.
If your train ticket is a combined ticket and reservation, then you cannot simply board the next train. You may need to purchase a new train ticket for that train or exchange your current ticket for a new one.
First, read the exchange conditions for your train ticket. This can be found printed with your actual ticket if you have a paper ticket, or on your Rail Europe email invoice. This will allow you to determine whether your train ticket is exchangeable or not.
If you have a non-exchangeable ticket you will have to purchase a new train ticket, regardless of the delivery method of your ticket.
If you have a semi-flexible or flexible ticket (i.e. your train ticket can be exchanged for a fee and/or under certain conditions), then you may be able to exchange your current ticket for a new one. In general, these exchanges must take place prior to the train’s departure.
Contact us as soon as possible to initiate the exchange process, before the train’s departure. If you are unable to reach us by phone, seek the assistance of a station agent. Never board a train with a train ticket that includes a reservation for a different train, unless specifically authorized to do so by a railway official.
Q. Where can I find more information about European train stations?
A. We offer valuable information on the most popular train stations in Europe. You can find a link to our Train Station page in the footer on any page on the website.
Q. What food and drink options are on board?
A. If the train you’re traveling on offers a bar-buffet car, you’re free to walk in, sit down and eat. Or as soon as the restaurant car opens, make a reservation for any time of day.
On many long distance trains there may be an attendant with a snack cart who travels from car to car.
Bar-buffet cars are a unique part of the train experience, where the quality of the food and wine can rival that of a gourmet restaurant. With the exception of Eurostar, special meal requests are not available. But typically, regular menu options are plentiful and usually cater to most taste buds or dietary restrictions.
If you travel with a Premier Class ticket, food and drinks are included and served at your seat or in the bar-buffet car.
On local trains there’s usually no catering. However, you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks on board. Please make sure to follow the local law when considering taking alcoholic drinks on board any train.
Q. I haven't departed for Europe yet and want to exchange or refund my train ticket. How do I proceed?
A. There are different ways you can exchange or refund a train ticket prior to your departure to Europe, but they depend in whether you booked a paper ticket or e-ticket.
If you booked a paper train ticket, the original ticket must be returned to us for the refund to be finalized. Please visit the Contact Us page for further information.
It’s strongly suggested that you send your documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
If you booked an e-ticket from our website, you can usually complete the refund online via our Cancellation and Refund page. The refund will be processed immediately and no further action on your part will be required.
Similar to the previous situation, the original paper train ticket must be returned to us for the exchange to be processed. Visit our Contact Us page to begin the exchange process for paper tickets, or the Cancellation and Refund page for e-tickets.
When exchanging tickets, you are responsible for paying the difference in fare, as well as any applicable fees for your new train tickets. Please keep in mind that exchanges on train tickets are only permitted for the same city pair or route originally booked.
Q. What if I’ve purchased a Twin/Saver pass and one of the travellers decides not to travel that day?
A. It’s perfectly fine, but the traveller who didn’t travel will still use a travel day on their pass.
If you’re all traveling on the same day, but split up and take different trains, those not carrying the pass will need to buy separate train tickets.
Q. How fast can I receive my travel documents?
A. After your booking has been invoiced, you should receive your tickets and/or rail passes within 2-7 business days. In some locations, express overnight delivery may be available for an additional cost.
If you booked e-tickets, you should receive an email and ticket instructions shortly after your booking is confirmed.
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. I’ve noticed a big difference in the cost of seat reservations for different trains. Why?
A. Fares for reservations may vary greatly from one train to another. Unfortunately, we have no control over these prices as they’re set by each individual railroad.
Trains that have higher priced reservations are typically high speed, international trains such as Thalys or Eurostar, as well as night trains.
Various factors are considered by rail carriers when pricing reservations for rail pass holders. These factors can include: the technology used by the train (high speed or regular speed), the types of tracks the train travels on and their associated maintenance cost, the range of services and amenities offered on board, possible tolls incurred by the carriers depending on the train routing (such as tunnel crossing tolls) and partnerships between rail carriers for the operation of cross border trains.
In addition, there are also specific costs associated with traveling on a night train that may include food for dinner and breakfast, as well as cabin maintenance costs (sheets, etc…). Since these costs are not associated with travel on day trains, day train reservations generally cost less.
Q. How do I use the bonuses that come with rail passes?
A. Rail Pass travel bonuses must be redeemed locally.
There are two types of bonuses. Free bonuses (such as a free airport transfer) require the use of a travel day on your pass. If all travel days have been used on your rail pass you will not be able to take advantage of any more free bonuses. Discount bonuses do not require you to use a travel day, but do require that your pass still be within its validity period. In other words, even if you’ve used up all your days on a pass, you can still claim discounted bonuses as long as the pass validity period has not expired.
The exception to this rule is the Swiss Travel Pass. Although a discounted bonus doesn’t require you to use a travel day on your Swiss Travel Pass, the pass must still be valid and you must not have used up all your travel days.