Getting Holland By Train

Getting Holland By Train

Holland has a very compact and modern railway network. Each day about 4,200 passenger trains run on the 1,900 miles of track. The trains of the Netherlands Railways (NS) are among the most modern in Europe. Some important aspects about travelling by train in Holland are that they arrive and depart on time, they are comfortable and clean, services are fast and frequent and most of the staff speak English.

Intercity trains run regularly between the cities. Express trains and local trains also stop at intermediate stations. Most trains offer a choice between first and second class. Every village in Holland, no matter how small, can be reached by public transport. Most routes have departures at least every half hour, busy stretches often as many as four to six departures an hour.

There is a direct express train connection between the Amsterdam airport Schiphol and the most important cities in Holland and some cities in Belgium. Even at night, there is a train every hour between Utrecht, Amsterdam, Schiphol, The Hague and Rotterdam. The Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the Dutch railway company, operates an Intercity IC network connecting the big cities. These IC trains stop at the major stations. A booklet (Dutch/English) is available from the ticket office giving the departure and arrival times of Intercity trains (price NLG 2.--). Local trains provide transportation to smaller cities.

Types of Trains
There are two types of trains; intercity and local trains. Intercity or express trains provide direct links between the most important cities. The routes covered by the local trains also include the intercity network, but they stop at every station. The Schiphol Line is a special intercity link connecting the national airport at Schiphol with the centres of the major Dutch cities. An intercity timetable is obtainable from ticket offices throughout Holland. Seat reservation is not possible.

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Night trains
Are you raring to go clubbing in Utrecht, but your hotel is in The Hague? The NS Night Net trains run between Rotterdam Central, The Hague Hollands Spoor, Leiden Central, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Amsterdam Central and Utrecht every hour of every night. When travelling on the night train, you may remain on the train after 04.00 as long as you have your ticket from the previous day.

Train taxi

When you arrive by train at a certain town, you can use the "train-taxi" in that town. You can now use the train-taxi even without a valid train ticket. This is a handy way to get from the hotel to the station, for example.

A ticket costs NLG 7.-- per person, regardless of the distance travelled within the city limits. You can now buy train-taxi tickets from the taxi driver as well, at a price of NLG 9.50. It is not expensive to go by train-taxi. Nevertheless, you must bear in mind that you will often have to wait, because the taxi driver will only leave when he has enough passengers. However, the waiting time is never more than 10 minutes.

You will find train-taxis at 111 different stations. The train taxi provides economical and comfortable transport to and from the station. Because you share the taxi with other passengers, the fare is less than a regular taxi without sacrificing the comfort. Call OV Reisinformatie (Public Transport Journey Information) 0900-9292 (€ 0.70 per minute; within the Netherlands only).

Wheelchairs welcome

If you are travelling to your holiday destination by train, contact the Nederlandse Spoorwegen Bureau Assistentieverlening Gehandicapten, the office which supports travel by handicapped people on weekdays between 8 am and 4 pm (tel. +31 30 230 5566). If you state your date and time of travel, you can call on assistance when getting on and off the train. With a little bit of preparation, the wheelchair user can have just as pleasant a holiday experience as the rest of the family.

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