We have rail passes and will be going from Amsterdam to Brussels. Taking the Thalys train saves over an hour but costs a reservation fee. Does anyone know what the reservation fee is from Amsterdam to Brussels? Thanks.
I believe it is 40 euro 2nd cl, 55 euro 1st cl. The ends up being a 50% discount from the regular semi-flex ticket prices.
The semi-flex Thalys fare can vary depending on date and time of departure. For instance, from Amsterdam to Brussels on September 18, the 2nd class semi-flex fare is currently €80 on the 3:17pm Thalys train but €45 on the 2:17pm Thalys train (according to www.b-europe.com). So if Sam is correct about the 2nd class reservation fee being €40, that is very close to the actual train fare in certain cases if one books far in advance.
Since you have a rail pass, I guess it all depends on how much you value that extra hour of time saved. If it were me, I probably would just use the IC train if I was not pressed for time.
The pass holder price list used to be relatively easy to find on the Thalys web site, but doesn't seem so now. Anyway, they refer you to Rail Europe for online bookings, which cost $19 per person in 2nd class or $31 in 1st for Amsterdam-Brussels.
FYI, Thalys reservations for Amsterdam to Paris are $31 or $43 or from Brussels to Paris are $25 and $37. While still higher than some trains, these rates are all cheaper than they used to be (and not just due to exchange rates).
We took the Thalys to/from Amsterdam/Brussels back in 2012 and found it to be very comfortable and well worth the $.
The Thalys train is great, but keep an eye on your luggage. We had a piece stolen from the rack at the rear of the car we were on. Learned a good lesson.