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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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
Q. Should I buy my rail pass or train ticket before I leave for Europe?
A. Yes. We find that when traveling abroad, it’s always best to book before you depart from home. That way, you’ll arrive with the proper paper documents in-hand and avoid fully booked trains that can disrupt your travel plans. This is especially important during the summer months when trains in Europe tend to sell out quickly due to increased tourism.
Most trains can be reserved 90-days in advance of the day you’d like to travel. Again, it’s best to reserve as soon as possible to guarantee that you’ll have a seat on board.
Q. How do I get a promo code?
A. The best way to stay informed of all current promotions and to receive promo codes is to create a user account and to subscribe to our newsletter. All publicly available promo codes can be found on our Deals page. We also issue individual, one time use promo codes at our discretion to customers who are eligible for certain discounts or have participated in certain promotions or marketing activities.
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. How can I ensure that my traveling party is seated together?
A. In general, when you request fares and schedules for multiple travellers at once, we’ll always attempt to request that they be seated together. The best way to ensure this is to correctly indicate the number of travellers when you request your fares and schedules for your itinerary.
Occasionally, it might not be possible to seat everyone together based on availability at the time of booking, in which case the travellers will be seated in the closest available seats.
If the train you’ll be taking is non-reservable, all you have to do is board the train and sit in any available seat with the rest of your party.
Q. In the event of a strike, is my rail pass covered under the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. In general no – the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t provide specific coverage for rail passes, city passes, or tours in the event a strike occurs during your travels.
During a strike, there are usually trains that operate along all routes, as well as substitute buses. While you may not be able to take the exact train you were planning on using, there are usually trains or some other method of transportation that can get you to where you need to go.
In case a severe strike occurs that significantly prevents you from using your pass as intended, you may contact our customer relations team. We will review your particular circumstances and may provide compensation, if appropriate.
Q. Can I get a refund for unused days on my rail pass?
A. No. Partially used rail passes cannot be refunded. Only unused rail passes that have not been activated are eligible for a refund within the allowed time frame.
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. What does “Activate my rail pass mean and how do I do it?
A. Activating your rail pass officially begins the clock on its travel period. This is done by having a railway official stamp and date your rail pass. Simply visit the ticket window at the train station before boarding your first train to have your pass activated. Most rail passes must be activated within 11 months of the purchase date. Boarding a train without activating your rail pass you risk being fined by the conductor.
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. How far in advance can I buy my train ticket?
A. Train tickets can be purchased 60 to 180 days in advance, depending on your route of travel. Rail carrier policies vary, depending on when their schedules are available for sale.
For the best deals, purchase your train tickets three months in advance, if possible. But always book as far in advance as you can to assure the best price and to avoid your class of service being sold out (especially during peak travel season on high speed trains).