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Travel Info & Tips International trains from The Netherlands
How take international trains from The Netherlands

International trains from The Netherlands

Summaries of how to take direct trains from The Netherlands to Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland

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The Netherlands has recently been reconnected to the European overnight train network thanks to Nightjet services which connect Amsterdam with Vienna/Wien, Basel and Zurich.
The recently introduced Eurostars from Amsterdam and Rotterdam thrillingly provide the first ever direct trains from The Netherlands to Britain.

The number of local and regional cross-border trains on routes to Germany has also increased in recent years, so travelling from The Netherlands to neighboring countries by train has never been easier.

By train from The Netherlands to Belgium (and on to France and Great Britain)

Most of the trains from The Netherlands to Belgium and beyond take one of three routes.

the high speed line:

Four train services currently travel on the high speed line from Belgium to The Netherlands.

(1) Up to 14 x Thalys trains per day take this route: Amsterdam → Schiphol Airport → Rotterdam → Antwerpen Central → Bruxelles-MidiParis
These are the only direct trains from The Netherlands to Paris, but if you will be heading to destinations to the south of the French capital, it can be worth connecting into the TGV trains on from Bruxelles-Midi to other French cities.
By taking them you can then avoid having to make a cross-Paris transfer between stations.

(2) 2 x Thalys trains per day take this route: Amsterdam - Schiphol Airport - Rotterdam - Antwerpen Central - Bruxelles-Midi - Paris CDG Aeroport - Marne la Vallée for Disneyland Paris. These services are still suspended.
In the winter months there are also ‘Thalys Niege’ services which are direct from Amsterdam and Rotterdam to Bourg St-Maurice and in the summer there are ‘Thalys Du Soliel services direct to Marseille via Avignon.

(3) InterCity-Direct trains also take the high speed line, but they don’t travel at high speed.
These trains operate hourly on this route: Rotterdam → Breda → Antwerpen Central → Antwerpen Berchem → Mechelen → Bruxelles Aeroport → Bruxelles Nord → Bruxelles-Central → Bruxelles-Midi.
Three of these trains per day commence their journeys at Den Haag HS, but the rest of these trains travel from Amsterdam via Schiphol.

Connect in Antwerpen for trains to Gent/Ghent; it can also be quicker to travel to Brugge/Bruge via Gent, but for destinations in eastern and southern Belgium (and Luxembourg) the best option is to make a connection in Bruxelles.

Connections are available in Breda from trains that have travelled from Arnhem via Den Bosch and Nijmegen.
These InterCity-Bruxelles trains no longer travel via Roosendaal and Dordrecht.

(4) There also direct Eurostar services from Amsterdam to London which take this route and call in Rotterdam, but not Antwerpen and then travel through Bruxelles and on to the high speed lines which lead to The Channel Tunnel.
These Eurostar trains also provide a direct link from Amsterdam and Rotterdam to Lille.

from Roosendaal to Essen:

Trains still use the older line between Belgium and The Netherlands, they depart hourly from Roosendaal and travel over the border via Essen on to Antwerpen Centraal.
Roosendaal is served by Dutch IC trains from Amsterdam, which make calls in Leiden, Delft and Dordrecht, as well as trains from Vlissingen via Middledburg.

via Vise:

Hourly local trains depart from Maastricht and head to Liege.
Maastricht is served by Dutch IC trains from Amsterdam, which travel via Utrecht, Den Bosch and Eindhoven.

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By train from The Netherlands to Germany (and on to Austria and Switzerland)

A train from Amsterdam has arrived in Berlin A train from Amsterdam has arrived in Berlin

Trains from The Netherlands to Germany take one of five routes.

from Arnhem to Emmerich:

Four train services now take the main railway line from The Netherlands to Germany, and they are:

(1) The ICE trains which travel on these two routes:

  • Amsterdam-Central → Utrecht → Arnhem → Oberhausen → Duisburg → Dusseldorf → Koln/Cologne → Seigburg/Bonn → Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen → Frankfurt (Main); 6 or 7 trains per day
    Connections are available in Frankfurt (Main) on to multiple other destinations including, Dresden, Linz, Munchen/Munich, Nurnberg, Stuttgart and Wien/Vienna.
  • Amsterdam-Central → Utrecht → Arnhem → Oberhausen → Duisburg → Dusseldorf → Koln/Cologne → Seigburg/Bonn → Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen → Mannheim → Kalrsruhe → Freiburg → Basel Bad→ Basel SBB; 1 x train per day.
    This is only direct daytime train from The Netherlands to Switzerland

There are frequent trains from both Den Haag and Rotterdam which connect into these trains in Utrecht.
There are also hourly trains which take a Roosendaal → Breda → Tilburg → 's-Hertogenbosch → Nijmegen → Arnhem route.

(2) If the timings of these ICE trains don't suit there are hourly German Regio trains which take an Arnhem → Emmerich → Oberhausen → Duisburg → Dusseldorf route.

(3) The Nightjet service from Amsterdam to Vienna/Wien via Linz, which typically departs every evening at 19:30 and also calls at Utrecht, Arnhem, Nurnberg, Regensburg, Passau and Linz.
Another part of this train heads to Innsbruck and typically arrives in Augsburg just before 06:30 and in Munchen/Munich at around 07:10.
These are the only direct trains from The Netherlands to these cities in Germany.

(4) The new Nightjet service from Amsterdam to Basel and Zurich, which also calls in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
This train also usually makes early morning calls in Frankfurt (Main) at 04:00, in Mannheim at 04:40, in Karlsruhe at 05:09 and in Freiburg at 06:20.
It is also the only direct train from The Netherlands to Zurich.

from Hengelo to Bad Bentheim

This is the route taken by the trains which link the Dutch and German capital cities.

via Bad Bentheim:

Every two hours during the day Intercity-Berlijn trains take this route:
Amsterdam-Centraal → Hilversum → Amersfoort → Deventer → Hengelo → Bad Bentheim → Rheine → Osnabruck* → Hannover → Wolfsburg → Berlin.
*Connect in Osnabruck for trains to Hamburg via Bremen.

Hourly Regio trains now also cross this border on this route; Hengelo → Bad Bentheim → Rheine → Osnabruck → Bielefeld.
Hengelo is served by hourly Dutch IC trains on these routes;

  • Schiphol → Amsterdam Zuid → Hilversum* - Amersfoort → Deventer → Hengelo
  • Den Haag/The Hague → Gouda → Utrecht → Amersfoort* → Deventer → Hengelo
    *If you will be travelling from Amsterdam Centraal, you can make connections into these trains at these stations.

via Gronau:

Hourly local trains from Enschede cross the border and travel to Dortmund.
Connections are available in Enschende from hourly Dutch IC trains on these routes:

  • Schiphol → Amsterdam Zuid → Hilversum → Amersfoort → Deventer→ Hengelo → Enschede
  • Den Haag/The Hague → Gouda → Utrecht → Amersfoort → Deventer → Hengelo→ Enschede
    *If you will be travelling from Amsterdam Centraal, you can make connections into these trains at these stations.

from Venlo to Monchengladbach

The only regular train services which make this border crossing are the hourly daytime Regio trains operate on this route; Venlo → Monchengladbach → Neuss → Dusseldorf → Wuppertal → Hagen → Hamm (West).

Connecting Dutch IC trains operate hourly on this route; Amsterdam Zuid → Utrecht → Den Bosch → Eindhoven* → Venlo.
*= Dutch IC trains also operate on this route Den Haag → Rotterdam → Breda → Eindhoven.

On Fridays only between December 19th and March 12th, the Alpen Express also takes this route; this overnight train connects these Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Den Bosch, Den Haag, Eindhoven, Haarlem, Leiden, Utrecht and Venlo with multiple Austrian ski resorts

through Bad Nieuweschans in the north Netherlands:

The trains which used to take this route from Groningen to Leer have been replaced by buses which depart every other hour, this could be due to work on the railway line, or it may be a permanent substitution.

Leer is served by hourly to from a swathe of German towns and cities including Bremen, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Koln/Cologne and Oldenburg.

through Herzogenrath

Hourly trains connect Maastricht and Heerlen to Aachen; Dutch IC trains to Maastricht depart hourly from Eindhoven and 's-Hertogenbosch / Den Bosch and Utrecht and Amsterdam.

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Simon Harper

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