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. 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.
Q. Are the train tickets you send me the actual tickets, or do I need to exchange them at the station?
A. If you selected the paper delivery option, then yes – the travel documents you receive from us in the mail are your actual train tickets. Do not lose them, because we cannot replace them.
Only the original paper ticket will be accepted onboard the train. No other document such as a print out of the email invoice can be used in lieu of the original paper train ticket.
Q. Can I get off the train and get back on later using my train ticket?
A. In most cases, this is not possible. Train tickets that include a reservation are only valid for a single ride on the train for which the reservation was issued. While stepping off the train is possible if the train makes intermediary stops, you wouldn’t be allowed to resume your trip by boarding another train with the same ticket. Your train ticket is only valid on the train printed on it.
Open train tickets may be the exception. They can allow you to hop off and back on another train on a given route to continue your itinerary, as long as that new train doesn’t require or offer reservations. Special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it’s a good idea to confirm locally.
If you’re traveling with an open ticket and a reservation for your original train, you forfeit that reservation for the remaining part of your journey when you hop off. You may hop back on another train that doesn’t require a reservation, but you’d essentially be traveling with an open train ticket only and not have a reserved seat. Again, special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it is a good idea to confirm locally.
Q. Do I need to book a rail pass for everyone in my traveling party, including children and infants?
A. You will need to book a rail pass for each adult and child. In the case of a saver pass, it’s one rail pass with each traveller’s name listed on the pass. Some rail passes offer free child discounts, the children need to be added to the rail pass at the time of booking, there will be no charge incurred for them, however. While a child under 4 years of age and sharing a seat with an adult does not need to book a rail pass. If the child will occupy his/her own seat, a rail pass must be purchased for them, as well as a reservation when needed.
Q. If I register on your site, will I start receiving spam?
A. Rail Europe will never spam you! Upon registering, you will only receive booking and/or account related messages, as well as occasional promotion information email from Rail Europe. If you chose to subscribe to our newsletter, you can expect to receive this publication as well (typically twice a month). Of course, you have the option to unsubscribe to at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link found at the bottom of the newsletter.
Q. Does each journey I take require using a separate day of travel on my rail pass?
A. No. You can take as many train journeys as you want within one day and only use one day, as long as your last train ride arrives before 11:59pm.
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. I’m leaving for Europe within 3 days and need to buy train tickets or rail passes. What are my options?
A. Some European train operators now offer electronic ticketing. If the train you’re interested in offers this, you can buy a train ticket up until its day of travel and retrieve it locally at the station using your unique e-ticket confirmation code or by printing it at home before you leave.
Currently, e-tickets are only offered on Eurostar, Thalys, Renfe, Talgo, Italo & Trenitalia along with select German, French (including international TGVs), and British trains. This type of ticketing will be available on other routes in the near future. At this time, the only rail passes available as e-passes are the Renfe Spain Pass and Swiss Travel Pass.
All other trains, certain activity vouchers, and rail passes must be issued as a paper document and mailed to you prior to your departure. If you’re leaving within three days, you should contact us via our Contact Us page and we’ll be able to advise whether there’s enough time for you to get your train ticket or rail pass prior to your leaving for Europe.
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. How long are train tickets valid for?
A. It depends if you have a ticket with a reservation or a point to point train ticket.
Point to point train tickets are valid within 15 days from the first day of validity printed on the ticket. You can travel with your train ticket on any date within the validity period (however, remember: separate reservations may be necessary, depending on the route).
Tickets with reservations are only valid for the train for which the reservation was issued, on that specific travel date and time of travel.