Brussels – Amsterdam ‘Benelux’ train service to be shortened by 40 minutes, skipping several stops in the Netherlands and Belgium 

Amsterdam to Brussels.

The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) are researching the possibility to shorten the BrusselsAmsterdam train link by 40 minutes. NS is holding a survey with its test panel. 

NS wants to skip many current stops, many in Belgium, but also in the Netherlands. And with new rolling stock, called the Intercity New Generation (ICNG) rolled out in 2025, travel speed will increase to 200 kph, from 160 kph.

Now

From Dutch perspective, the current itinerary is

The future

RailTech, SpoorPro and OV Magazine are quite adamant the test panel phase is a formality and a new itinerary will be introduced. 

  • Amsterdam South;
  • Schiphol Airport;
  • Rotterdam Central Station;
  • Antwerp-Central;
  • Brussels-Central;
  • Brussels-South.

So it would skip Breda, Noorderkempen, Mechelen, Zaventem and Brussels-North. As a result of these measures, the journey time of 2.43 hours can be reduced to 2.03 hours. 

NS director Marjan Rintel already announced in August 2020 that she wants to speed up travel times to Brussels and Berlin with the new rolling stock, RailTech writes. 

“We are awaiting the results of the study and will of course continue to discuss future improvements with NMBS“, said a spokesperson.

A bright future?

When I sent Danny the link to the news, he was quick to react. “Amsterdam South? It’s as welcoming as Antwerp-Luchtbal.” So no, it’s not a nice terminus.

Also, Thalys will feel the competition. People in Mechelen will not be happy. 

It is said the ‘Benelux‘, ‘Brusselaar‘ or ‘Amsterdammer‘, as the train is called, stops so often on purpose, not to compete with Thalys or with other intercity services between Antwerp and Brussels. 

I’m personally puzzled as why Schiphol (AMS) is kept, but Zaventem (BRU) dropped. Linking the two airports by train makes sense in a reality where short flights are discouraged. 

A high speed train linking Schiphol, Zaventem and Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) would be even better. 

New locomotives

On 1 February, The NMBS / SNCB announced the purchase of at least 24 Traxx electric locomotives by Alstom capable of going from Belgium to the Netherlands, to Germany, to Luxembourg and to France. Those locos will be able to ride at 200 kph. 

This opens perspectives. Some say a Brussels – Antwerp – Noorderkempen – Breda connection is in the works. That would make sense if the Benelux cuts its stops. 

More on Benelux trains

More on trains

7 Comments Add yours

  1. famo says:

    not too fond on the skipping Brussels airport thing. the rest i can live with

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      I also find that an odd choice.

      Like

  2. preetverse says:

    Very interesting, Your blogs are full of knowledge especially for the travellers. But, it is helpful for everyone to find the right train for any station. Thank you for sharing.🙂🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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