Thalys Train, Amsterdam
I started travelling with the very fast train Thalys in the mid 1990s first to Paris, later to Amsterdam and I was always satisfied about speed, comfort and price when booking well in time.
For Brussels - Amsterdam it costs 45 € in class 2 and 65 € in 1st class; the difference of 20 € is well worth the large (solo) seat and something to eat and drink.
These prices are indicative and can be higher or sometimes lower.
The wagons of the Thalys have been renovated last year but I wonder if the engines should not undergo the same.
On my return trip from Amsterdam to Brussels the train stopped in a tunnel before reaching Rotterdam. The lights diminished and air conditioning stopped. We got an announcement of a technical defect and after a quarter of an hour the train started again and reached Rotterdam at a speed not exceeding 50 Km/hour. Between Rotterdam and the Belgian border the train stopped again, this time in open country. After another waiting he moved on again and finally reached Brussels with a delay of two hours (4 hours instead of the normal two).
In winter time it happens that the fast trains Thalys, TGV, Eurostar suffer from incidents due to ice, snow, floods but it was May.
Anyway there has been worse with the new fast train Fyra between Brussels, Antwerpen, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The Fyra is a project of the Dutch NS Hispeed and Belgian SNCB. The V250 high-speed train of the Italian train builder … went last year in December for the first run between Amsterdam and Brussels, but was put aside temporarily after persistent technical problems and losing bottom plates in January.
As the train builder could not bring his train up to the wanted quality level the SNCB broke up the contract.
Consequently the Thalys frequencies between Brussels and Amsterdam will be increased.
I hope that the Thalys engines will also be up to the wanted quality level.
We arrived to Amsterdam from Paris by the Thalys train. It's a high speed train that link Paris (Gare du Nord) and Amsterdam (Centraal Station) in 4 heures and 10 minutes. In fact the trip is so fast till Brussels, but it become slower in Northern Belgium and The Netherlands because it's not really a "high speed" system and the train stops in a lot of cities, both in Belgium (Antwerp) and The Netherlands (Rotterdam, The Hague, Schiphol Airport).
It's quite confortable, mainly because you will come from the Paris (or the other places) city centre to Amsterdam downtown, without expensive transfers. On the other hand Thalys trains are a bit old and sometimes (in our return trip) toilets smell so bad from the very begining.
The train will take you wherever you want through out Holland. It covers almost any place. And if it doesn't, busses will take you further.
It's works pretty simple. Just go to the station where you can find ticket machines everywhere. There are two different kinds: at the old one there's a list of all the places with codes next to them.
- Enter the code in the machine
- select the options you need: first class or second class, one way or return ticket, valid for the current day or a ticket without a date (then you have to stamp at the entrance of the platform).
You can pay by coins or a bankcard.
The new machine works the same way only the list of places appear on the touchscreen. You can only pay with your bankcard here!
In the station there are big yellow boards where you look up your destination, look at the time you want to leave and there you'll find the platform where the train will depart.
Make sure you buy a ticket otherwise you have to pay a fine! For any questions about how to get to your destination, ask the conductors on the train!
A lot of stations, especially the smaller ones, have a taxi service especially for train travellers. You buy your ticket for the taxi in the same way as your train ticket ( euro 3,50) This taxi will take you anywhere in the area of the trainstation. Be aware that you have to share the taxi with other travellers!
Lots of people visiting Amsterdam, who want to go to Antwerp (Belgium) by train.
Normal trains go every hour and take 2 hrs 9 min. from station to station. No reservation needed.
Thalys goes 6 times a day, takes 2 hrs and 23 min. Reservation needed and you have to change trains at Antwerpen Berchem (one stop before Antwerpen Central).
Earliest train (not a Thalys) goes at 7.23 hrs
Latest train (not a Thalys) goes at 21:23 hrs
Because you cross a boundary into another country, the fare is not shown on the website.
To give an idea: the fare from Amsterdam to Roosendaal (the last Dutch train station before crossing the border with Belgium):
Single ticket € 17,80
Return ticket € 30,30
You'll be using Dutch Railway which means you can check all this the national railway website. Go to link below and click English at the top.
Thalys speed train links between Amsterdam and Paris (pass by Rotterdam - Antwerp - Brussels), it's about 4.30 hour and it costs about 1.15 euro one way, but it could me much cheaper if you buy in advance.
You can buy tickets just before departure in Amsterdam centran station.
The train Thalys. 5 departures per day from Gare du Nord.
Duration : 4 hours + (the train stops at Brussels after 1 hour 30, and Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam Airport).
Price : 676FF (go & return).
See website : www.sncf.fr -
Have a look on the Central Station on my travelogue.
DON't USE THALYS.
I took it 3 times and on average they had 2 hours of delay. Plus they don't have a good costumer service and don't provide alternatives to your travel arrangements.
Absolutely don't take it If you have a travel itinerary with other companies or train providers, because when you miss your connection due to Thalys's fault, then you are ***ed because they won't do anything about it.
Now that in the UE travel companies must pay a compensation if the delay is more than 60 minutes, and if you decide not to take the train then they must reimburse you completely + pay the transport fees o your place of origin....something they often "forget" to tell you. And when you ask them about it, they will use a ton of excuses to avoid paying what (according to the law) is yours. and they will only cover their past instead of the whole trip you missed due to their fault.
Taking the train from Brussels to Amsterdam will give you a few hours time in a comfortable environment (with a minibar :-))
From Paris to Amsterdam by Thalys takes about 5 hrs with stops at Schipol, The Hague, Antwerp, and Brussels.