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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>|
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. How do I know the right rail pass and how many days I should purchase?
A. We provide simple tools on our site to help make finding the best products for your journey - easy! Our tools help you find both the most cost effective and logical travel solution for your travel needs.
Use our Interactive Rail Map to help you plan your journey, our site will then display available options to bring that journey to life with rail passes, train tickets, and even great add-on products that can truly enhance your experience. Enter the number of days you wish to stay in a particular city, and where you wish to travel next, and our system will provide you with the best options for your itinerary.
The more you know about the train rides you plan on taking, the better you’ll be able to research which trains are running, how long each of those rides take, whether or not you’ll be traveling on night trains, etc… All these factors determine how many travel days you’ll need on a pass.
Q. Are there lounges at the train station I can access with my Rail Europe tickets?
A. Some of the main train stations in larger European cities offer lounges. Access to lounges depends on the type of train ticket you have; generally a First class ticket is needed.
Trains that offer lounge access are:
SJ High Speed
Trenitalia International Night
Spanish Night Trains
To learn more about lounge access for any of the above trains, we encourage you to visit the product page for the train.
Q. Will a National Rail Strike affect my train travel?
A. A national strike impacting rail services could affect train travel for locals and visitors alike. Typically, during a rail strike there will be a reduced number of trains operating which could lead to more passengers on board trains that are running, changes in schedules, or even alternate modes of transportation (such as buses) to transport passengers to their destinations.
In the event of a strike, Rail Europe will provide as much information as possible to assist those who may be impacted. If a strike has been announced, you can always submit inquiries to Rail Europe through the Contact Us page or, if you’re already in Europe during a strike, go directly to a railway station and ask the local railway official for assistance.
Q. Why should I purchase my train tickets before I leave for Europe instead of while there?
A. While you can purchase train tickets locally, it has been our experience that the earlier you book the more likely you are to get the best fares. The longer you wait, the more likely the cheaper fares will be sold out. By booking early, you can avoid a higher ticket price.
Buying in advance also can save you a lot of time. You won’t have to wait in line at the train station. And considering how precious your vacation time is, why not spend it relaxing instead of worrying about your next train ticket?
Q. How can I track my shipment?
A. A shipping confirmation email will be sent to you when your booking has shipped and it will contain the tracking number for your travel documents. Please use this email to track your package.
Q. What is the 7:00 pm rule?
A. Overnight train journeys departing after 7:00pm and arriving after 4:00am without any change of train will count as one travel day. The date of arrival should be recorded on your rail pass.
Overnight train journeys departing after 7:00pm that arrive or involve a connection between midnight - 4am count as two travel days on your rail pass.
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. 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.
Q. Why are e tickets not available for certain trips?
A. Availability of e-tickets depends on two factors: whether the rail company operating the train offers e-ticketing, and if it does, whether Rail Europe was granted technical access to their inventory to enable e-ticketing on their behalf.
Not all European rail companies offer e-tickets. But when they do, we work with them to make this option available on our website. And we’ll continue to do so in order provide more e-ticket options for your convenience.
Q. Does taking an overnight train mean using 2 travel days on my rail pass?
A. If you travel on a direct overnight train departing after 7:00pm and arriving after 4:00am, it’s only necessary to enter the date of arrival in the travel calendar, thereby using only one travel day. If you travel on an overnight train that departs after 7:00pm but has a change of trains or arrives before 4:00am, you will be required to enter both the date of departure and arrival in the travel calendar, using two travel days of your rail pass.