Nederlandse Spoorwegen

The fastest and easiest method of transportation in the Netherlands is probably by train. Actually there are several companies running their trains on the railway tracks of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways), but most of them actually belong to the main company. It is fairly easy to use the train network, because there are trains from everywhere to everywhere in almost every half an hour (in some cases every ten minutes). It is also interesting to note, that on the NS trains the ticket prices are the same, no matter of the class of the train (only the distance traveled is taken into consideration). One can imagine, that I was very curious to experience this seemingly high quality system.

After arriving to Eindhoven Central station, we ate a sandwich, and headed to find a ticket issuing machine to buy our tickets… surprise, surprise there were lots of machines, just like in Italy. They also accepted cash, credit cards or so called “Chipknips” (no idea what they are). Just like in Italy, all of the machines were unable to accept cash anymore… 😕 … No problem, we said.. we have all sorts of credit cards, exactly for these kinds of situations… and here comes the even bigger surprise: they only accept Maestro cards. Guess which one we did not have… I actually do not understand: Maestro is operated by MasterCard … we tried MasterCard, and no response… Strange 😕 …

Well, luckily nothing is impossible in the Netherlands: there is also a ticket office, with people in it 😀 (imagine the joy…). We bought our ticket (€18.40) and asked: “When does it leave?”… “In four minutes.”…. (now imagine the surprise and the speed we rushed out of the office…). We did not actually hope that the train would be late… and it wasn’t… we barely made it in time…
Nederlandse Spoorwegen
Our first train of the Netherlands was a nice yellow double decker Intercity. They are actually quite nice, and new… well not as nice as the brand new Italian versions, but nice… During the train ride, a nice gentleman said something gibberish on the speaker from time to time (Dutch is actually much easier to read than to understand… ), announcing stations and other stuff. After a 1 hour and 20 minutes trip we finally arrived to Amsterdam Centraal (imagine the joy again… 🙂 ). This time the speaker announced it in English also (oh, yes, that city really gets a lot from tourists… 😛 ).

About Amsterdam, in another post… but first I’d like to give some more info about NS: return-journey tickets. Return-journey tickets (Dagretour), are tickets which can be used only on the same day on the return-route from your destination. We have tried that when we visited Den Haag: the ticket was €11.20 and it said it was with 40% off. It is definitely worth a try 😉 .

Apart from these “normal trains”, Thalys and the German ICE operate their trains under the control of NS Hispeed, a subdivision of NS. Their prices and tickets have to be acquired separately and cost more (

So much about train traveling 🙂 . All in all it is a nice experience, and the fact that it almost always works is a great thing. In Italy things seldom work well, but when they do, they might be a bit better than the dutch version (buying tickets is easier, new trains more comfortable, high-speed trains also present).

One Response to “Nederlandse Spoorwegen”

  1. […] I have already mentioned in one one of my older posts, the train ticket to Den Haag Centraal from Amsterdam Sloterdijk station was only €11.20, having […]