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International Rail Borders in Netherlands


Netherlands has a number of rail tracks that cross international borders into either Germany or Belgium.

In this article we overview all cross border rail services currently operating including the less well-known local stopping services. This could be useful for those with rail passes such as the Interrail ticket who wish to use local/regional trains.

1. Roosendaal-Essen border - This is the standard rail line between Roosendaal and Antwerp which is used by the Amsterdam-Brussels intercity service. There is also an hourly NMBS (Belgian Rail) stopping train service between Roosendaal and Antwerp which takes 45 minutes. The border station on the Belgian side is Essen.

2. Dutch-Belgian High Speed Line (HSL) border - This is the HSL Zuid/HSL4 high speed line linking Rotterdam and Antwerp which crosses the border east from the standard Roosendaal-Essen track. The line is served by Thalys trains on the Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris route. It was also used by the defunct FYRA international service between Amsterdam and Brussels.

3. Maastricht-Visé border - NMBS runs a stopping train service between Maastricht and Liège-Guillemins (known as Luik in Dutch). The border stations are Eijsden (NL) and Visé (BE). The service runs hourly and takes approximately 35 minutes.

4. Heerlen-Herzogenrath border - From the southern city of Heerlen runs an hourly DB (German Rail) stopping train service to Stolberg Altstadt. The border stations are Eygelshoven Markt (NL) and Herzogenrath (DE). The train also stops at Aachen HBf (35 minutes) before terminating at Stolberg Altstadt (1 hour).

db stop train heerlen

5. Venlo-Kaldenkirchen border - Venlo is a city in the south of Netherlands close to the German border. There is a stop train service (operated by Keolis) which runs hourly to the city of Hamm in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. This trip takes almost 2 hours 30 minutes. The first German border station is Kaldenkirchen and the train makes stops (amongst others) in Mönchengladbach Hbf, Neuss Hbf, Düsseldorf Hbf (1 hour 7 minutes), Wuppertal Hbf and Hagen Hbf.

6. Arnhem-Emmerich border - Emmerich is a German border town connected by rail to Arnhem. This track is used by the high speed ICE services between Amsterdam and Frankfurt which makes stops in Utrecht, Arnhem, Oberhausen Hbf, Duisburg Hbf, Düsseldorf Hbf, Köln Hbf and Frankfurt airport. The track is also used by the City Night Line Amsterdam services to various European destinations - a stop is made in Emmerich.

7. Enschede-Gronau border - From the eastern Dutch city of Enschede runs an hourly DB (German Rail) service to Münster Hbf, a journey which takes just over 1 hour. The border stations are Glanerbrug (NL) and Gronau (DE).

8. Hengelo-Bad Bentheim border - There is an hourly rail service run by Syntus between the eastern Dutch city of Hengelo and the German border town of Bad Bentheim. The journey takes 20 minutes and the train also stops on the Dutch border side at Oldenzaal. This track is also used by the Amsterdam-Berlin Intercity (IC) 5x daily service which also makes a stop at Bad Bentheim.

9. Groningen-Weener border - Groningen is a major city in the north-east of Netherlands. From there you can take an hourly Arriva stop train service to Leer (Ostfriesland in Germany) which takes 1 hour 10 minutes. The border stops are Nieuweschans (NL) and Weener (DE) and the train then terminates at Leer.

How To Book Tickets:

If you are based in the Netherlands you can check timetables, prices and make bookings for all international train services listed at the NS International site

If you live elsewhere then Belgian Rail's international site B-Europe accepts all international cards and offers a wide range of international rail travel options including Eurostar, Thalys, TGV, ICE as well as Dutch domestic services.


For more on major international rail connections from Amsterdam go to: International Train Services To / From Amsterdam