Brussels-Amsterdam trains faster but most prices set to rise

Summary

As of Monday, the majority of the train’s journey from Brussels to Amsterdam will now be made using the high-speed rail network

Variable costs

From Monday, the Benelux train between Brussels and Amsterdam will make the majority of its journey using the high-speed line. The journey will be half an hour faster – but weekend and last-minute travellers face significant price rises, with some fares almost doubled.

The train currently uses the standard tracks, but as of next week the portion of the journey from Antwerp to Amsterdam will use the high-speed lines. The stations at Noorderkempen and Breda will come into use, but Roosendaal and Dordrecht will no longer be served.

In most cases, tickets for this faster journey will be more expensive, VRT reports. Prices are variable, with substantial discounts for passengers who book at least seven days in advance and penalties for those who buy tickets at the last minute or want to travel at the weekend.

A weekend return from Brussels to Amsterdam will now cost €93.60 if booked less than seven days in advance or €66 if booked early, compared to €54.60 now. From Monday to Thursday, advance return tickets will cost €50 – cheaper than the current price of €53.

Ghent-based passenger organisation TreinTramBus says the early-booking discount no longer suits travellers’ lifestyles and will result in more people choosing to drive rather than take the train for a last-minute weekend trip.

“The terms of the early-bird discount are too long,” spokesperson Willy Smeulders told De Standaard. “People are more spontaneous these days, especially the smartphone generation. Booking seven days in advance is not spontaneous travel.”

Photo courtesy Nederlandse Spoorwegen