Starting 9 April 2018, the international intercity train from Brussels to Amsterdam wil operate via Breda instead of Roosendaal. But there’s a twist.
The Belgian rail operator NMBS / SNCB announces that the Benelux, as the train is known, will use high speed line (HSL) 4 instead of classic line 12.
Currently, the train departs the capital of Belgium at Brussels-Midi/Zuid and calls Brussels-Central, Brussels-North, Brussels Airport – Zaventem, Mechelen, Antwerp-Berchem, Antwerp-Central, Roosendaal, Dordrecht, Rotterdam-Centraal, The Hague Hollands Spoor and in theory Schiphol and Amsterdam-Central Station. But due to test rides the Benelux is nowadays limited to The Hague.
Noorderkempen and Breda
Starting on the 9th of April, the Benelux will run twelve times per day from Brussels, the Airport, Mechelen and Antwerp and then will divert using the HSL to Noorderkempen and Breda. In the Netherlands this train will skip Roosendaal, Dordrecht and The Hague. It will call Rotterdam, Schiphol and Amsterdam.
Dutch rail operator NS drew a map of the old and new route.
If the Benelux uses the HSL twelve times a day to Amsterdam, it will go from Rotterdam to The Hague, the political capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, four times a day.
This means there’s only one train from Belgium to Roosendaal: the Puurs-Antwerp-Essen-Roosendaal local train.
Presales start on 20 March.
The news is a confirmation of what has been known for a while. The ambition to use the HSL is an old one. In 2012 NMBS / SNCB and NS launched the Fyra a semi-high speed train. But the AnsaldoBreda S.p.A. V250-trains proved very unreliable. They operated, when they operated, from 9 December 2012 until 17 January 2013.
The train operators switched back to the Dutch ICR-coaches. Sometimes you see Belgian I6 and I10-coaches on the route.
Thalys and Eurostar