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Guide to Train Types in Netherlands


There are a number of different types of trains on the rail network in Netherlands, the majority of which are operated by the national rail company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen).

Let's take a closer look at the NS trains in use on domestic services...

Intercity Services - These are fast domestic train services which make limited stops between the major centres. If you are travelling from one city to another these are nearly always the best and quickest option. There are no supplements or seat reservations required to use most standard services. Many Intercity trains offer free onboard WiFi and have live travel information screens.

Double decker Intercity trains

These double deckers run as Intercity services throughout the country. Stairs need to be used to access both the lower and upper cabins. Note the overhead luggage racks are very small - however there is limited space for a medium size case between the backs of some opposing seats. First class has a 2-1 configuration whilst 2nd class is generally 2-2 with very few single seaters.ns intercity double decker train

ns double decker train 1st and 2nd class train

Annoyingly, most of the seats upstairs face each other - these offer poor legroom when fully occupied. Some of the newer layouts do have airline-style seating in the lower cabin.

Single decker Intercity trains

Known locally as Koplopers, these are used as Intercity services on a number of routes. They are much better than the double deckers for travel with luggage, having large overhead racks and no stairs. Most newer configurations are airline-style with 2-2 in 2nd class and 2-1 in 1st class.ns intercity train

ns intercity seats

Intercity Direct (previously known as FYRA) is a fast domestic Intercity rail service using modern single decker carriages similar to the above Koploper layout. Seating is mainly airline-style. It only serves the Amsterdam-Schiphol-Rotterdam-Breda route using parts of the Dutch high speed rail track. For travel between Schiphol and Rotterdam on Intercity Direct, a supplement is required.ns intercity direct train

For detailed information on fares and tickets see How to buy Dutch train tickets

Sprinter Services - These are slower stopping train services which make stops at smaller stations between cities.

Sprinter Light trains

These modern trains have replaced many of the older series yellow stopper trains. Display screens on board provide route info, though there is no free WiFi. There is reasonable space on the overhead racks for luggage. Note the lack of toilet facilities on the new trains. Small 1st class sections are found at each end but seats are the same as 2nd class.ns sprinter train

ns sprinter train seats

Double decker sprinter

An older series double decker train remains in use on selected routes as a stopping train service. Some stock has been refurbished to look similar to the intercity.ns double decker stop train

For rail travel beyond Netherlands see International Rail Services from Amsterdam.