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Schiphol to Antwerp, Rail Supplement Question

Hopefully our Dutch friends can give a simple answer for this.

We land in Schiphol end of month, and immediately take the train to Ghent. We have already purchased the tickets, not using Thalys as if we get lucky we can just make the train that will get us in an hour early (train from Antwerp to Ghent is hourly). I am confused regarding the "supplement". I have seen postings how this is currently not necessary if traveling out of Amsterdam, and in fact the tickets purchased on NS International, Schiphol to Antwerp Zone are marked "As part of an international journey no Supplement is required when travelling (sic) with the Intercity direct." And thus the confusion, as I am not sure what we are traveling. There are many trains from Schiphol to Rotterdam, most change across the platform for the Antwerp train, and a couple do not require the change. Can we just chase down to the train station and hop on any train and not worry about this? The train that we hope to get lucky and grab is 20 minutes after we land, and we'd love to save an hour if we can, however this is one of the trains that does require that quick change in Rotterdam to go on to Antwerp, and I don't think I would be able to figure out how to purchase the supplement quickly if we really need it (Footnote re quick timing -flight from US is through Frankfurt, so will already have been through immigration there, and we are carry-on only). I would hope that if there were an issue on not having complied we could plead lenience based on what printed with our ticket, but one never knows. TIA.

Posted by
2487 posts

There are two connections from Schiphol to Rotterdam Centraal: the »normal« Intercity via Leiden and Den Haag (The Hague) and the Intercity Direct via the high-speed line. The Intercity Direct comes with a surcharge. With your ticket you can apparently take the Intercity Direct without that surcharge. So, your ticket is valid for any train to Rotterdam.
By the way: »travelling« is correct British spelling.

Posted by
2479 posts

Thank you Ton. I do wish the website would have made this clearer as to the requirements, other than "Does not include supplement". As for the spelling, it may be the correct Brit spelling, but my auto correct would not accept traveling with 2 l's. Heaven forfend (unrecognized!) I leave a typo in here, what with a librarian wife.

Posted by
2487 posts

I do wish the website would have made this clearer.
You're right. If one doesn't know about trains with and without supplement that text is confusing.
Enjoy your trip. Gent (to use the Flemish spelling) is a nice and lively city.

Posted by
2479 posts

Thanks. A return trip, our first tome there was too short. I seem to type Ghent and Gent interchangeably. But I do at least always use the pronunciation "Brugguh" (not sure how that gets spelled!)

Posted by
27759 posts

The correct spelling unless you are French or American is Brugge.

Posted by
2487 posts

It won't be of much use for the non-linguistics among us, but according to Wikipedia ˈbrʏɣə is the notation for the pronunciation.

Posted by
2479 posts

I had already seen the linguistics symbols when I typed my comment, but I have no idea how to translate those characters into their sounds. I recall from seeing a Rick Steves' show or reading it in guidebook many years back that "Brug-geh" (sic) will be the favored pronunciation of the Belgians, so we use it.

Posted by
113 posts

Larry and Ton,

I am taking this same train trip a few weeks later than Larry. My plan was just to buy my train ticket at the airport for Gent and not take the Thalys. I have looked at the Website and did not really see mention of a supplement. What do you mean by supplement? If I buy my ticket on line, do you have to use it for the day you select on the website or could I use it different day if my flight is delayed? Does it cost more to buy my train ticket at the airport? I would also like to get on one of those trains that does not make me change trains in Rotterdam. Ton, I always like hearing your responses about your country. Thank you.

Posted by
2487 posts

The Intercity to Brussels has a fixed price, unlike the Thalys which can be much cheaper with advance-bought tickets. The Intercity has no reservation, which makes a ticket valid for any train on that particular day. If you are not sure on which day you can take the train, leave buying the tickets until you have landed.
I thought the Intercity to Brussels had a stop at Schiphol, but apparently that has changed. You have to pick it up at Den Haag HS (The Hague HS) or Rotterdam Centraal (the quickest route with the Intercity Direct). Both are easy stations to navigate.
Don't worry about the supplement. You can take any train, except the Thalys.

Posted by
5484 posts

It's hard to tell if this would be helpful to you, but local trains from Brussels to Antwerp (with a destination sign to beyond Antwerp) are EXTREMELY frequent and stop at all three of the Brussels zone downtown stations. So a train to Brussels might be more frequent than a train from Shiphol to Antwerp. Note that the first Antwerp station is Berchem-Antwerp, which you probably don't want. Antwerp Centraal is the main station.

Posted by
15 posts

We will arrive in Amsterdam 3 Sept, Monday. Will take IC trains to Brugge. When the schedule indicates a change: does that mean a "stop" or does it indicate we have to change trains and catch a different one on a different track?

Posted by
2487 posts

I just saw an announcement by NS, the Dutch railways, on a change of the Intercity service to Brussels.
Besides having most of the trains on the high-speed line, making the journey significanty faster, they have introduced a discount on advance-bought tickets. Tickets can be as cheap as EUR 25, slightly more expensive on Friday and the weekend. The discounted tickets are valid for any Intercity train on that day.