I made reservations on the NH HiSpeed website for a train trip from Amsterdam to London. The itinerary shows we take the train at 9:56am from Amsterdam Centraal Station to Brussels, and then a train from Brussels at 2:29pm arriving at London at 3:26pm. We have our seat assignments for the Eurostar, and train number, but no information on the train number or seats from Amsterdam to Brussels. Do I get that information when we check in for our train trip from Amsterdam to Brussels? Also, I see there is a 10:56 train from Amsterdam to Brussels that if we could take it, we'd have a shorter wait at Brussels for our train to London. Am wondering if we can take that train, in other words, does it matter which train we take? Thanks for your help!
Most likely because the Amsterdam to Brussels segment is via a regular inter-city train instead of the Thalys train. If so, then you are issued a "general" ticket valid for any IC departure. Also, seat reservations aren't possible on IC trains.
Make sure you select an IC train that allows enough time for you to check-in for the Eurostar train.
If you take the 9:56 as you said you have to change to the same International Train in Rotterdam that you would have been on if you had taken the 9:53 from Amsterdam. The 10:56 will go at 10:53. Don't be there at :56. The 10:53 gets to Brussel Zuid at 13:42, if all goes well. You need to check in for the 14:29 Eurostar no later than 13:59, or they won't let you on. You would only have 17 minutes in hand. You need several minutes to get down stairs (or escalator) and over to the Eurostar area, bypassing all the shops in the station except those "airside". If you had gone Thalys, you could have left as late as 11:16 (arr 13:10) but that costs more... Enjoy Amsterdam....
Remember: on Eurostar, you need to check-in at least 30 minutes before the stated departure time on 2nd class tickets. 1st class passengers: at least 10 minutes before.
My memory is that virtually everybody needs to check in for Eurostar an absolute minimum of 30 minutes prior to booked departure. There are two flavours of first class; normal first class (called Standard Premier) is 30 minutes like the steerage. Only Business Premier - the super expensive extra first - is allowed 10 minutes, or Carte Blanche card holders. I checked with the Eurostar site which reads: When to check in This depends mainly on what ticket you have. Unless you've been advised otherwise please check in at least 30 minutes or up to 90 minutes before your scheduled departure. You'll see the full details below but remember that if in doubt, arrive with time to spare. And have a croissant. Applicable travellers Minimum time before departure Eurostar™ carte blanche holders 10 minutes Business Premier travellers 10 minutes Eurostar™ carte classique holders 30 minutes Standard Premier travellers 30 minutes Standard travellers 30 minutes If you have any special travel needs or will need help getting to the train please approach a member of staff for assistance. See our special travel needs page for more information. 45 minutes All travellers for Avignon or ski services 1 hour
The 9:53 usually goes from platform 14a. The station has two parallel tunnels going from front to back of the station. Platform (Spoor) 1 is nearest the front then the numbers go up as you walk back to 14 which, if my memory is right, is quite near the Albert Hein supermarket just before you reach the back of the station near the water. Because I know the station I would get there about 9:40 or 9:45. If you get there a little early your train may be waiting and you can get on to find a seat. >> Very Important << make sure you get on the right train!! Check and double check the displays upstairs. Lots of trains use the station at one time and the train in the platform may well be one leaving a few minutes earlier to a completely different place.
Yep, Michael was right. Our tickets are for the IC, not the Thayls, so when I asked at the airport train station the lady said I have to take the 9:53 train to get to Brussels with enough time to check in to Eurostar. Now am wondering how early we should get to the station in Amsterdam to check in to the 9:53 train. 9:00? Amsterdam is beautiful here on late Sunday afternoon. We had a wonderful lunch at a brown cafe near the Anne Frank House. There is an endless parade of tour boats and other boat traffic going by the canal outside our B&B bedroom window. Incredible. Humid here though!
You don't need to "check-in" for IC trains. Check the monitors to see which platform the train boards at, and hop on. Be at the station at 9:30 to be on the safe side. Centraal Station's layout is very straight forward; easy to navigate.
So how do they know we have a ticket? Do they just scan the Eurostar ticket I printed out? The lady at the desk could tell we were scheduled for the 9:53 train by looking at her screen. Anyway, thanks for the info!
You should have been given a ticket for the Amsterdam-Brussels segment. Since it's a "general" ticket good for any IC train, it won't have a departure time listed on it, seat numbers or even your name. Look through your your paperwork again you should see what I mean. The lady at the station may have simply been looking up your "receipt" for your entire itinerary. If it still doesn't look right on your end, perhaps it would be a good idea to get to the station a little earlier so you can double check everything.
I took this same train (although I ended up staying in Brussels - long story). Basically, what others have said is correct: the Amsterdam - Brussels portion is a regular IC train that does not require reservations. Remember that you must check in at least 30 minutes prior to the departure of your train to London (since it involves passport control). Our train arrived in Brussels late, which would have made for a tight connection, so I was kind of glad we were staying in Brussels after all. If you can take the earlier train, I would do that just to err on the side of caution. Since you DO have reservations on a specific Eurostar train, I would try my best to avoid missing it. P.S.: we had our ticket printed by the staff at the Schiphol station.
Thanks all for your helpful replies. We had no trouble on our train trip from Amsterdam to London. It did leave from platform 14a, and actually arrived 25 minutes late to the platform due to engine trouble. But we were able to make up 10 minutes on the way to Brussels and got there only 15 minutes late. Fortunately check-in to Eurostar was very smooth and we had time enough to find a sandwich in the waiting area before boarding. Unfortunately we ended up sitting in reverse, which wasn't a big deal, but when we entered the tunnel I went to the next car and sat facing forward so when we arrived in England I would have a better view! It was so exciting to go from Brussels, into France, and then on to England by train. What an amazing trip it was. We wished we had splurged and taken 1st class though. It was a bit noisy on the IC train, with people talking on their cell phones constantly, despite the car being marked "Silent" which I think means no cell phones or noise. The seats were OK on the IC, but very comfortable on the Eurostar. I peeked into 1st Class on the Eurostar and they looked like bigger seats, 1 x 2 configuration. The bar/cafe car on Eurostar was interesting, but no seating area, standing room only! At least on the Amtrak Cascades from Seattle to Portland one can sit down in the Bistro Car and enjoy a beer before going back to ones seat! There is no bar/cafe car on the IC train that I could notice, just a guy pushing a cart through the train a few times, and going fast and not saying anything either, so service level was pretty low.