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Train from Schiphol (Airport) to Gent St Pieters Belgium

My wife and I are flying from the USA to Amsterdam via Iceland (where we will be for 3 days). When we arrive in Amsterdam we need to catch the train from Schiphol (airport) to Gent St. Pieters. One leg of the train trip requires reservations (Thalys line to Antwerpen). There's no issue with making the reservation, I'm just worried about our flight being delay, or having issue with luggage..., which may cause us to miss the train departure. How much time should we generally allow between our flight arrival time, and train departure time? Can we transfer our departure time to a later time if the flight is delayed?

Posted by
4689 posts

You can do this with regular IC trains, albeit taking about 1.5 hours longer. Change in Rotterdam and Antwerp. Cost €42 - can use any train, no reservations.

Posted by
16863 posts

And they go once per hour at 9 past the hour.

Posted by
4535 posts

I would just go via InterCity (IC) trains. You just buy a ticket for the next departure at the station. No need to worry about flight delays and losing your reservation if you miss the train. Or sitting in the station. (No, you cannot transfer a Thalys ticket - if you miss the train your ticket is worthless).

On IC trains, you will get a smart card ticket. Scan it at the kiosk on the platform when you board and when you exit. You can buy a ticket valid all the way through to Gent and MUST scan the card off and on each time you transfer trains.

Posted by
23 posts

If you are not in a tight schedule, I would also recommend to just use InterCity trains (these are the normal trains, which do not require a reservation). As Douglas pointed out, you can just get a smartcard ticket at the kiosk at Schiphol.

If you already know the date you are travelling on, you can also buy your tickets online at home, print them as e-tickets and bring them with you. But note that whilst the e-ticket is valid for all trains on your path to Ghent, it is only valid on the day you select when buying.
E-tickets can be bought via eg. . If Gent St. Pieters is not listed as a station, you can select Ghent Central instead. (according to Wikipedia it is the same station) When you have entered the correct stations and date, you are presented varous train options. Only Thalys trains require a reservation; on all other trains you can just hop on whenever you want, provided that you do so on the date listed on your e-ticket. If you click the 'Route' button on the table, a window pops up showing at which stations you have to change trains. You can often take the same route half an hour later, in case you don't make it to a connection. Just remember the path, eg. Schiphol > Rotterdam > Antwerp > Ghent -- (there are more paths to Ghent). You can take any train to the next station each time. And do not be afraid to ask for help at the station, should you need any assistance. Good luck! :)

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the replies. It sounds like the IC trains are the way to go for this leg of the journey. The cost saving is significant too!