Intercity Direct

If you will be taking a journey by Intercity Direct train in The Netherlands our guide will tell you all you need to know, from boarding, to making the most of the journey experience.

Dutch national rail operator NS uses the ‘InterCity Direct’ branding for its train services, that share the high speed line between Amsterdam and south Netherlands via Rotterdam, with Thalys trains.

It’s not possible to travel between Amsterdam and Rotterdam on the Thalys trains -so these trains are the fastest option for train travel between the two largest cities in The Netherlands.

ON BOARD         ROUTES        TICKETS

SUMMARY


However, despite these trains using the high speed line, they don’t travel at high speed - but the Thalys trains that do, are only 8 mins faster!

What gives these InterCity Direct trains the advantage over other NS InterCity trains between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, is that the high speed line is a direct route -  so these trains complete the journey between the two cities in only 41 minutes.

In contrast the fastest alternative InterCity trains - which travel on the non-high speed route via Delft and Leiden  also call at more stations - so have a journey time between Amsterdam and Rotterdam of around 1hr 13mins.

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On Board:

What can surprise is that, for the time being, the coaches that are used on these trains are a tad ordinary.

Older trains had to be rushed into service when NS abruptly abandoned the unreliable trains that were ordered for these services.
However, these current trains are a stop-gap as other brand new trains are on their way.

As a result these trains don't have Wi-fi and catering isn't available either

Seat reservations also aren't an option, but seats are nearly always available.

So these are comparatively basic trains, but they are time savers!

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Routes:

(i) Amsterdam Centraal - Schiphol - Rotterdam Centraal - Breda (3 x trains per hour*)

*One of these trains is now the international InterCity Brussels service which has its journey extended beyond Breda to/from Belgium.

(ii) Amsterdam Centraal - Schiphol - Rotterdam Centraal (1 x train per hour)

(iii) Den Haag Centraal - Den Haag HS - Delft - Rotterdam - Breda - Tilburg - Eindhoven (2 x trains per hour)

The trains on this route use the high speed line between Rotterdam and Breda.

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Tickets:

The time saving of 32 mins  when travelling between Amsterdam and Rotterdam by these InterCity Direct trains comes at a price.

A supplement of €2.40 is charged in both 1st and 2nd class journeys by these trains which involve travelling between Schiphol and Rotterdam.

Meaning these journeys

(i) Amsterdam ↔ Rotterdam
(ii) Amsterdam ↔ Breda
(iii) Schiphol ↔ Breda
(iv) Schiphol ↔ Rotterdam

When buying a ticket from a machine or at a station ticket counter you have to specify that you will be taking the InterCity Direct train and ensure that the supplement has been paid.
It will be included in the price of the ticket.

If you have booked an ordinary ticket for a journey, but make a last minute decision to take one of these InterCity Direct, then the supplement is sold by NS ticket machines - though you can only pay at the machines with coins or cards.

However, you don’t have to pay the supplement if you have a multi-country rail pass.

You also don’t need to pay the supplement if you have an international ticket such as a Bruxelles – Amsterdam ticket.

The supplement does NOT have to be paid for journeys:

(i) between Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport
(ii) for all journeys between Rotterdam and Breda
(iii) if you use these trains for any journey on the Den Haag/The Hague ↔ Eindhoven route.

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