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Domestic paper train tickets abolished as of today; station gates activated.

Starting today, domestic train tickets are no longer sold on paper version. Passengers must use an OV-Chipkaart (and RFID-based smartcard)

Single-ride tickets will still be sold, loaded on a disposable card. However, they will come with a € 1 surcharge over the full fare price.

The OV-Chipkaart needs to be validated (by touching) at totems or electronic gates on the departure and arrival stations. Several stations that are fit with gates have now 'restricted areas' where only passengers who validated their cards can access (so you can't just go to the platform if you don't have a valid ticket). On these stations, the exit gates are opened when you tap your card at them, naturally.

Some gates are fit with technology to recognize QR codes printed on online tickets and those issued for international travel. However, this part of the system is still not worked out, so there will be station agents near gate barriers, where applicable, to manually open gates for passengers travelling on international paper tickets without QR codes.

NS (the national railway company) spent a lot of money and 9 years to make 'paperless travel' a reality.

Posted by
222 posts

I will be traveling from Amsterdam to Berlin in September. I have already bought my tickets online and have printed tickets. I also have my tickets back from Germany. Am I going to have a problem?


Posted by
5465 posts

Andre, thank you very much for this useful information. Since there are so many fine day-trips from Amsterdam, for example, this is quite important.

I hope that the Netherlands will be able to afford enough staff to handle the manual opening of gates. I say so because we just returned from a trip to Italy, and had the experience of being stuck at a railroad turnstile that could not read home-printed tickets (not just our own, but many others as well) while the platform-conductor was occupied with another task for his budget-cutting, tax-starved employer! (I don't mean that story to sound agressive. The U.S. is full of stories about staff cuts by budget-cut government agencies ... )