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Travelling on a Dutch train: Intercity and regional

At a glance

  • Regional train

Overview

Fast Intercity (IC) trains run on domestic rail routes in the Netherlands, connecting the country’s major cities by rail, like Amsterdam, Maastricht and Utrecht. Dutch Intercity trains are operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the Dutch national railway company. Dutch IC trains can be either single or double-decker.

Dutch Intercity direct trains provide a fast service between Amsterdam Centraal, Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam Centraal and Breda. However, in order to take this quicker Intercity direct service, you need to pay a supplement on top of your already-purchased NS ticket if your journey includes the portion of the journey between Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam. No supplement is required if travelling between Amsterdam and Rotterdam with an international ticket for the Intercity Brussels. Intercity direct supplement tickets can be bought online, from the service desk at the station, or the NS ticket machine at the train station.

Another regional train found in the Netherlands is the Sprinter, which is mostly used to connect major cities to smaller towns. Sprinter trains are slower than Intercity trains, and tend to make more stops along the way.

Practical information

©Semmick Photo/Shutterstock.com

Before you board

There are no check-in or customs procedures before boarding Dutch regional and Intercity trains.

Onboard

Dutch Intercity and regional trains are comfortable, with plenty of legroom and adequate space for luggage.

Wifi is available on most Dutch Intercity trains. Trains that are equipped with wifi can be identified by the wifi symbol on the train’s exterior.

Generally, bistro or buffet cars are not found on Dutch regional and Intercity trains. However, there are no rules against bringing your own food and drink onboard.

Not surprisingly, in such a bike-friendly country, you can take your bike onboard Dutch regional and Intercity trains outside of the rush hour times of 06.30 to 09:00 hrs and 16:30 to 18:00 hrs on weekdays. This restriction does not apply for weekend travel, national holidays or in July and August. In order to bring your bicycle on a Dutch regional or Intercity train, you need to buy a Bicycle Day Ticket and store your bike in the train’s dedicated bike area. Folding bicycles can be carried onboard as luggage, free of charge. Read more about taking your bikes on trains in our Help article.

Booking and printing options

Dutch regional and Intercity tickets are open for bookings 120 days in advance.

Seat reservations are not compulsory on Dutch regional and Intercity trains.

Get the lowest prices on Dutch regional and Intercity trains by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.

Opt for off-peak Dutch regional and Intercity trains when you have to travel at short notice. Off-peak trains are more affordable than ones that run mornings and evenings, Fridays and Sundays or during popular holidays.

Classes of service

Dutch regional and Intercity trains generally provide two classes of service: Standard Class and First Class.

Dutch Intercity First Class

First Class Dutch regional and Intercity services are comfortable and more spacious than in Standard Class and usually provide electrical sockets at seats.

Dutch regional and Intercity Standard Class

The accommodation offered on Dutch regional and Intercity trains in Standard Class have spacious seating and luggage racks are available at the end of each carriage. Electrical sockets are not always available in Standard Class.

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.