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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|
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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. How do I book a train ticket on your site?
A. We have an easy-to-use booking form right on the homepage of our site. Simply enter your departure and arrival cities, the date you’d like to travel, approximate time of day, and number of passengers. If you have a rail pass, be sure to check the "I have a rail pass" box so that we can search the best fares for your journey.
Q. Where can I find specific information regarding the services offered on the train I'll be taking?
A. We try to provide you with as many details about your train trip as possible. When you’re searching for train fares and schedules, click on the train numbers listed on the results page. Choose the class of service you prefer to sit in and you’ll be able to see all onboard services offered.
Q. Where can I see the exchange and refund conditions of my train ticket?
A. When browsing fares on our website, you can read a brief description of each fare flexibility level, and then see the full exchange and refund conditions for each fare.
Once you have booked a train ticket with us, its exchange and refund rules will be indicated in your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, as well as printed with your train ticket and/or on the ticket jacket in the case of paper tickets. Please note that train tickets must be received for exchange or refund within the allowed time frame mentioned in the exchange and refund conditions.
Q. Do you offer maps of European train stations?
A. We do offer links to Google Maps for many European train stations. At this time we do not have specific layouts of any train station interiors in Europe.
Q. Do you offer student, family and/or senior discounts?
A. Yes. Rail Europe offers a wide range of train tickets and rail passes that provide discounts to children, youths, seniors or groups of people that travel together.
Discounted rates vary depending on the type of train ticket or rail pass you are purchasing, and are not always offered.
We do our best to provide you with the cheapest fares for your traveling party and get you the discounts you’re eligible for. This is why it’s important to accurately indicate the composition of your traveling party when requesting fares and schedules or rail pass prices from our website. You may also have to enter the age of certain travellers, so we can determine whether they’re eligible for certain age-related discounts.
Q. Can I board the train if I forgot my rail pass but have my seat reservation?
A. While you can board the train, the conductor will make you purchase a full fare ticket on-board, and you may be fined. It’s best to keep your rail pass in a safe place with all of your travel documents to avoid this situation!
Q. I have a question about my Rail Europe Gift Card. Who should I contact?
A. Just send us a message on our Contact Us page and we will respond to you via email within 24 to 48 hours.
Q. How early should I arrive at the train station?
A. We advise travellers to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This allows you time to clear any security checks and locate the platform where your train will be departing. If you are departing from a larger train station (typically a city’s main station) and need to activate your rail pass prior to boarding, you will want to arrive even earlier to make sure you have enough time to get your rail pass activated and avoid doing a luggage-hauling sprint through the station.
Please note: For Eurostar trains, follow the "check-in and Ticket Gate Time Limit" instructions which can be found on your ticket under "Additional Information".
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. Should I buy my seat reservations prior to arriving in Europe, or can I just get them at the station locally?
A. We recommend that you purchase your reservations as soon as possible, once you’ve determined which train journeys you’d like to take and what dates you’ll need them.
In most cases, rail carriers set aside a limited number of seats for stand-alone reservations. Once those seats have sold out, only regular full-fare tickets can be bought for the train. Because of the limited reservation-only inventory, these seats do in fact sell out, especially during peak travel seasons such as the holidays or summer. The cost difference between a stand-alone reservation and a full-priced ticket can amount to a hundred dollars or more. There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to use your rail pass and having to buy a full priced ticket at significant cost. Therefore, we highly encourage you to lock down your reservation and make the most of your travel budget as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that reservations can be purchased online from Rail Europe’s website and iPhone App. Many rail carriers do not sell stand-alone reservations through their website and in most cases, you will have to go in person to the rail station to buy your reservation when in Europe.