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Train Transfer Questions

Hi, this post is for those with extensive knowledge of the trains in The Netherlands, and in particular, for Dutch_traveler who I am gathering is a local based on all of his very informative and accurate answers.

We are meeting our son in Maastricht (where he is studying at the university) and will be traveling from there to Arnhem. From the ns.nl web site, it appears that there are three different train routes we can take to Arnhem, with total travel time ranging from 2:09 to 2:33 depending on the route we choose. The one that takes the longest has only a single transfer, while the other two involve two transfers.

The shortest, involves transferring at Roermond and then again at Nijmegen.

But the transfer time listed on the ns.nl web site at Roermond is only 2 minutes. This seems an awfully short time to me, but since the web site lists it as a possibility, I am wondering if it is expected that passengers should have no trouble in making that connection. The site lists arriving on track and leaving on track 3B, so I suppose that could mean it is on the same platform, which would make transferring easy.

Furthermore, while the first and last trains are NS trains, the train from Roermond to Nijmegen is an Arriva train. And on one of the web sites where I was reading about the OV chipkaart, it said that when changing train companies, you are "technically" supposed to check out and check back in again on the card. So that would add even more time, especially if the machines to check out and check in are not located on the platforms. But not sure if that is actually necessary.

So am I foolish to try and use the shortest route because I run the risk of missing the connection, just to save 24 minutes?

Posted by
104 posts

Thanks for the advice. Guess we will probably take the slightly longer but simpler route. I did have one question from your response - you mention tickets, but if we have OV chipkaarts, then we would have no ticket, just use the card to check in and out, correct?

Posted by
1422 posts

Hmmm… it seems that Maastricht to Arnhem by train is not so straightforward as I would expect it to be. You indeed have the option to use NS trains only with an inconvenient 29 minute wait at ‘s Hertogenbosch or to go for the shorter NS to Arriva to NS route.
There is another option of course; turn your 29 minute wait in ‘s Hertogenbosch into a 2 or 3 hour and 29 minute one and use the time to explore ‘s Hertogenbosch. ‘s Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch as it’s also called, is a lovely historical city city and is very much worth a visit. The train station is located very close to the city center. For inspiration on what to see and do, see; https://www.visitdenbosch.nl/en

Btw; I’m a she, not a he :-)

Posted by
104 posts

Dutch_traveler,

Thanks for the suggestion, Our son has visited 's Hertogenbosch a couple of times and found it interesting, especially the Bosch museum. However, we are headed to Arnhem to go to the Open Air Museum and so want to have most of the day to explore it.
Also, you mention a 29 minute wait in 's Hertogenbosch but what I see when I look at the website is a 7 minute wait, at least on the day we intend to be travelling which is June 4th.

Based on what Erwin said about the Arriva trains being crowded and prone to delays, it just seems to like it is safer to take the longer but simpler route on the two NS trains.

Posted by
1422 posts

I checked the trains for this weekend and it seems that due to track works there is a 29 minutes wait. On your travel date, you indeed only have a 7 minute wait. In order to avoid the hassle with the checking in and out, I would go for the all NStrain option.