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
Operated by NS, the Dutch national railway company, Intercity trains serve all major cities in the Netherlands. The domestic trains are also known as IC, and they come as single decker as well as double decker trains. Many of the Intercity trains in the Netherlands have free Wi-Fi on board. Travellers are not required to have a seat reservation.
Main cities in the Netherlands are linked to smaller towns thanks to the Sprinter trains. As the Intercity trains, the Sprinter has first and second class carriages which do not require seat reservations. Some Sprinter trains are double decker.
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>|
Reviews & ratings Dutch trains: Regional and Intercity
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. I misplaced the printout of my print at home e-ticket. What now?
A. No problem. You can simply reprint your train ticket from any printer, as long as you can still access the pdf provided to you at the time of booking.
You can find links to the pdf in the confirmation email sent to you. Or if you’ve registered for an online account, you can access the booking in which the pdf link was contained in your dashboard.
The only exceptions are if you purchased a Thalys or NTV-Italo print at home e-ticket. Those pdf’s are sent in separate emails and can’t be retrieved online at this time.
If you request to have your train ticket reprinted at a station ticket window, there may be a local service fee.
Q. If my travel party won’t fill the entire compartment, can we buy it out to travel by ourselves?
A. We’re only able to sell train tickets/reservations for beds that will be filled by travellers. If you purchase “extra” beds in a compartment to occupy the space, the conductor can fill empty beds if space is needed, even if the whole compartment has been purchased. No refund is given if a conductor fills an “extra” bed.
Q. What's the difference between a rail pass and a train ticket?
A. A rail pass and a train ticket are two completely different types of travel documents.
A train ticket is valid for a single journey between two cities. Many tickets also include a reservation, which mean that they are valid only for a specific train, on a specific date and at a given time. To learn more about tickets, read our article: tickets explained.
A rail pass, on the other hand, is good for travel in an entire geographical area (1 country, 2 countries or more). With it you can take as many train trips as you want within that geographical area, for as many travel days as you purchased, within a set period of time (the pass validity period).
Q. My Rail Europe train tickets were not accepted by the conductor. What do I do?
A. While all train tickets issued by Rail Europe should be accepted onboard the train, if you should run into any issues, be sure to ask the conductor to stamp your Rail Europe ticket "Not Used" with a written note explaining why this ticket could not be accepted by a railway official. You will want to keep that ticket safe and upon your return home, you can send the original ticket, any replacement tickets and receipts, and a brief letter of explanation to our Customer Relations team.
Please use the Contact Us page to get more information regarding a refund.
Q. What happens if my train crosses an international border during the night?
A. If you travel in a sleeper compartment, you provide the train attendant with your reservation voucher, rail pass or train ticket, and passport as you board. They can then take care of everything with conductors and customs officials so you can sleep uninterrupted.
If you travel in a regular train that just happens to cross the border at night, customs and border control officers may come directly to you and ask for your passport.
Please note that there will be no passport control (day or night) when traveling between countries that signed the Schengen Agreement. Not all countries belonging to the EU are part of the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Britain). On the flip side, some countries that are not part of the EU are part of the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Switzerland).
Q. Can I exchange my train ticket after its date of departure?
A. Unfortunately, this is not possible. If a train ticket can be exchanged, it normally must be done prior to the first date of validity on the ticket or the train’s departure date. However, please consult the “after sales conditions” found on your confirmation email for exact exchange rules pertaining to the train ticket you booked.
Q. I’ve already booked my rail pass, but think I’d like a different one. Can I exchange it? It’s totally unused.
A. Unused and unvalidated rail passes can be exchanged for an alternate rail pass of equal or greater value. A 7% administration fee, any price difference, and additional shipping fees would apply. Some promotional rail passes are non-exchangeable; please read the terms and conditions for these passes for more details.
Please send us a message through the Contact Us page to begin the exchange process. To exchange a rail pass, we must receive your original unused and unvalidated rail pass no later than 3 days prior to your departure to Europe, issue a new rail pass, and ship it to you.
If you bought the Rail Protection Plan™ when you placed your rail pass order, you are eligible to receive the full value of your original pass as a credit and use it towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years, with no fee or penalty incurred.
Q. Do I need to do anything with my rail pass before boarding the train?
A. Yes. You will need to visit the ticket window at the train station before boarding your first train to activate your rail pass. A railroad official will enter the first and last day of validity on your rail pass and stamp your rail pass. You will have to show your passport, and the name on your rail pass will need to match it. Then, in case of a flexi-pass, for each day you use your rail pass you will need to enter the date in the designated travel calendar box on your rail pass. If you board a train and have not entered the date, when the conductor comes around to check your travel documents you may be subject to a fine and the payment of full fare ticket that will need to be paid in local currency directly to the conductor. Be sure to read all documentation that accompanies your rail pass prior to departure. The more you know about your rail pass, the more likely you are to avoid issues onboard the train.
Q. How can I exchange my Trenitalia ticket?
A. Exchanges can be made in accordance with the conditions of your ticket. If permitted, exchanges can only be processed in Italy at a self-service kiosk at the train station. Simply select the "Print & Change" option and then enter the e-ticket confirmation code (PNR) and the Booking Change Code. Both of these codes can be found on your Print at Home ticket. Changes can also be made at a ticket window at the station.
Q. What’s the difference between a seat reservation and a train ticket?
A. A train ticket is a travel document that allows you to board a train for a journey, but does not necessarily guarantee an accommodation (seat/sleeper) assigned to you on board. A reservation guarantees you a specific accommodation on a specific train.
In many cases, train tickets are issued as combined ticket and reservation: you receive one travel document that indicates the specific train and seat assignment. This is the case for most high speed trains such as Eurostar, Thalys and TGV, as well as for night trains.
In some other cases, you may receive a train ticket and a separate travel document for your reservation.
By itself, a reservation can never be used to board a train. It must be used in conjunction with an open train ticket, as we’ve just described, or with a rail pass.