True International Train Services From and To Belgium

International Train Services From and To Belgium



WORTH KNOWING:

In contrast to train travel within Belgium, different terms and conditions apply to MOST of the international train services that operate to/from Belgium.
 

(i) Tickets will be cheaper if booked in advance for journeys by high speed train - Eurostar, ICE, Thalys TGB (TGV) trains and the IC train service to The Netherlands
(see the notes below re: the tickets for this IC service).

(ii)  Reservations are compulsory (and included on the ticket) on Eurostar, Thalys and TGB (TGV) trains.

(iii) Reservations are available, but not compulsory on the ICE trains to/from Germany.
 

(iv) In contrast to the high speed trains, discounted tickets and reservations are NOT available on the IC trains between Belgium and Luxembourg or Lille in France.
 

(v) There are no overnight trains to/from Belgium.
 

THALYS TRAINS

These trains operate on these routes:
 

(1) Bruxelles Midi/Zuid– Antwerpen – Rotterdam – Schiphol - Amsterdam
 

(2)  Bruxelles Midi/Zuid - Paris gare du Nord (the only direct trains between central Bruxelles and central Paris)


(3)  Bruxelles Midi/Zuid – Liege – Aachen – Koln – Essen – Dusseldorf – Dortmund

(4) Antwerpen - Bruxelles Midi/Zuid - Lille Europe
 

(5) Bruxelles Midi/Zuid – Strasbourg (replaces the now withdrawn EC trains on the Brussels – Luxembourg - Strasbourg - Basel route)

The direct Thalys trains between Bruges, Charleroi, Mons, Namur, Oostende and Paris have been withdrawn.

Tickets can't be purchased either online at the station for journeys by Thalys train between Bruxelles and both Antwerpen and Liege.
 

ICE 3 TRAINS

These trains operate on this route:

Bruxelles Midi/Zuid – Bruxelles Nord - Liege – Aachen – Koln Hbf – Frankfurt Flughafen/Airport – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf.
 

For rail pass users the ICE trains are a much better option than the Thalys trains for journeys between Belgium and Germany.

If you won’t be travelling with a rail pass then you have a choice of Thalys or ICE trains for direct journeys between Brussels/Bruxelles* or Liege and Koln/Cologne or Aachen.

Choose whatever departure time/price suits you – both Thalys and ICE trains are sold on B-Europe, the ICE trains can be cheaper than the Thalys trains and vice versa.

Note that The ICE trains call at Bruxelles Nord station, but the Thalys trains don’t.

Tickets can't be purchased either online at the station for journeys by ICE train between Bruxelles and Liege.

EUROSTAR TRAINS

They operate on this route:

Bruxelles Midi/Zuid – Lille Europe – (Calais Frethun) – (Ashford International) – Ebbsfleet International – London St Pancras International.

Most of the Eurostar services on this route are operated by e300 trains.

However, some services are now operated by e320 trains.
 

TGV TRAINS:

These trains operate direct between Bruxelles Midi/Zuid and many cities in France.

By taking these trains you can avoid the awkward transfers between stations in Paris.

Stations in France that have direct TGVs from Bruxelles Midi/Zuid include: Aeroport Charles De Gaulle, Antibes, Aix-en-Provence TGV, Avignon TGV, Cannes, Lyon Part Dieu, Marne La Vallée, Marseille St Charles, Montpellier, Nice Ville, Nimes, St Raphael and Toulon.
 

IC TRAINS:

IC trains on operate on these routes from/to Belgium:
 

(i)  Antwerpen/Anvers – Gent – Kortrijk – Lille Flandres (change of train many be required at Kortrijk)
 

(ii) Mons – Tournai - Lille Flandres (change of train may be required at Tournai)
 

(iii) Bruxelles Midi/Zuid – Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Luxembourg – Namur – Arlon – Luxembourg
 

(iv)  Bruxelles Midi/Zuid – Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Aeroport – Mechelen – Antwerpen –  Breda – Rotterdam – Schiphol – Amsterdam Centraal*
 

(v)  Bruxelles Midi/Zuid – Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Aeroport – Mechelen – Antwerpen –  Breda – Rotterdam – Den Haag/The Hague HS*

 

*These IC trains between Belgium and The Netherlands can be referred to online as ‘InterCity Brussels’ trains, but they don’t carry this branding – though they can have stickers on the doors showing that they operate between Amsterdam Centraal and Bruxelles Midi/Brussel Zuid.
 

For rail journeys between Belgium and The Netherlands they're a slower alternative to the Thalys trains as they don't use the high speed lines .
Although when the most heavily discounted tickets for the Thalys trains have sold, they're (much) cheaper.

These IC trains are also a much cheaper option for rail pass users than Thalys trains –as they have no additional charges.

Seats cannot be reserved on these international IC trains and no on-board catering is available.