The plans for this are not entirely new, they were leaked at the beginning of last year, but now NS has officially confirmed these plans. It is also part of the agreements on a new major rail network concession that will come into force at the end of next year.
There will soon be two intercity trains an hour to Brussels. The first, the new express line, departs from Amsterdam South and then heads south to Brussels with stops in Schiphol, Rotterdam and Antwerp Central. Since there are only three stations along the route, and the new ICNG-B trains are used at a higher maximum speed, travel time is reduced by three-quarters of an hour.
In addition, the slower Intercity train will continue to run to Brussels every hour, which will follow largely the same route as the current IC Brussels, but will start in Rotterdam and thus not reach Schiphol and Amsterdam. It also stops at Breda, Noorder Kempen, Antwerp Berchem, Mechelen, Brussels Airport, Brussels North and Brussels Central.
So anyone who wants to go to Brussels Airport from Amsterdam or Schiphol has to change trains in Rotterdam.
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The train connection to Brussels is rapidly gaining popularity and as such can get very crowded, especially in summer and at weekends. By doubling the number of trains, NS can provide more capacity and enable further growth.
The travel time of the new, fast NS Intercity to Brussels will soon be longer than that of the Thalys (this name will soon disappear and become Eurostar). It only saves a few minutes. Trains have a different starting point in Amsterdam, because Thalys will continue to depart from central Amsterdam for the time being, while Intercity will run from south Amsterdam.
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