Image by Mennov1996 and downloaded from Wikcommons.
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Accessing the train
Which country these trains operate in.
The Dutch rail operator is now using these brand new trains for some 'Intercity Direct' services which use the high speed line in Holland between Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam.
On that route they have a maximum speed of 200 km/h, so they don't fall into the 250 km/h + category, which is the minimum speed achieved by purpose-built high speed trains on other European high speed lines.
Though that speed is significantly higher than the 145 km/h maximum speed that Dutch IC trains travel at away from the high speed route.
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.
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.
On these trains the access to the 1st class seating area is marked by a '1' by the door on the train exterior - and internally the 1st class seating area is easily distinguishable because the seats are red and not blue.
Aside from the seats being wider and the additional leg room, the other distinction between the travel classes are the seats in 1st class are arranged 2 + 1 across the aisle - and in 2nd class they are arranged 2 +2.
Those these trains have two particular features which distinguish them from the older trains which they are now replacing.
These trains also have more luggage space than the older trains
The time saving of 32 mins when travelling between Amsterdam and Rotterdam by these InterCity Direct comes at a price!
A supplement of €2.40 is now charged in both 1st and 2nd class for journeys by these trains which involve travelling between Schiphol and Rotterdam - so this extra charge applies to these journeys:
When buying a ticket for a journey by these trains, the best option is to buy an ordinary ticket for the journey.
You then have to pay for the supplement on the red 'supplement' pole which you will find on the platforms/tracks (spors) which these trains use.
The reason for using this method is, if you don't travel in business hours, the price charged by these supplement machines will be reduced by €1.
If you will be travelling with a Chipkart, you need tap it against these poles (machines) prior to boarding.
When the journey supplement doesn't apply
However, you don’t have to pay the supplement at all 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 also does NOT have to be paid at ANY TIME for journeys:
NS is the national railway operator in The Netherlands and it doesn’t allow bicycles to travel on any of its trains between 06:30 – 09:00 and 16:00 – 18:30 on Monday-Friday – except during July and August when there are no time restrictions.
Bikes can be taken on board any train at any other time, including weekends, if you purchase a bike pass for €6.90 - this pass known as a ‘Fietskaart Dal’ has a flat rate price, so it doesn’t matter how far you will be travelling.
An unusual feature of travelling with a bike on NS trains is that tandems can also be taken on board.
Bikes can only be placed in the dedicated bike spaces and because they can’t be reserved, there’s no guarantee that room will be available.
Although neither your train ticket, or bike pass, will be restricted to specific departures, so if need be you can simply take the next train.
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