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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:38 AM   #2261
Wilhem275
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Next week I'd like to visit Brussel, finally using the Benelux train. I'm making some confusion about the tickets.

1) I see there are no special offers, just a plain ticket valid on a specific date for any train.
Since I will not be sure about the day till the last moment, can I just buy the ticket in the station before departure?

2) I will stop in Antwerpen for a few hours to visit the city. I understand that with the NS ticket, not linked to a train, I am free to stop and then resume my travel later (in the same day).
Am I then obliged to use the Benelux train, or is my ticket valid for any Belgian internal train on the same route?

Thanks
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:40 AM   #2262
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Sometimes NS International has promotions for Benelux trains...

Why don't you take one of your trips on Thalys instead? Particularly on outbound trips, sometimes you find cheaper tickets buying a ticket to Lille or even Paris and alighting in Bruxelles-Midi (the opposite is not doable since they cancel your ticket if you don't board at the specified station).
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Old October 29th, 2014, 10:41 AM   #2263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
1) I see there are no special offers, just a plain ticket valid on a specific date for any train.
In the machine you find the super-day and weekend retour, providing 40/25/35% reduction.
Yes, you can brake your journey during the same day and take any train you like, except Thalys.

Myself I'm planning a direct one-way, so I might check-in in DH HS, checkout during the 9 minute break at Roosendaal and buy online a NMBS ticket for Roosendaal- Bxl.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 10:57 AM   #2264
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For Belgium they sell Superdagretour tickets, these are valid on one day only. They also sell Weekendretours which are slightly cheaper but only valid during weekends. I believe you can get these tickets from the machines or on the websites of NS International or SNCB Europe.

Splitting your journey with the same ticket is not permitted by the Belgian railways and ticket inspectors check on this.
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Last edited by AlexNL; October 29th, 2014 at 12:16 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 12:15 PM   #2265
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Taking the train to Belgium lol. I don't even go there anymore unless it's by car, bus or airplane. And I would consider a horse before taking the train.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:19 PM   #2266
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Quote:
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Taking the train to Belgium lol. I don't even go there anymore unless it's by car, bus or airplane. And I would consider a horse before taking the train.
Thalys is quite reliable IMO.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:57 PM   #2267
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My main objection to the train between NL and BE is the fare. Train fares in NL are quite cheap, and in BE are very cheap, but travelling between NL and BE can be quite expensive. It is often cheaper to split your ticket into different sections: the NL only bit, the BE only bit and the cross-border section.

I also like to do the cross-border section by scenic bus for a bit of variety. There is of course the fast Breda to Antwerpen bus, but that goes down the motorway so is a bit boring.

http://www.grensbus.nl/ shows a list of cross-border routes, but hasn't been updated for a few years. I've done about half of those routes!

Also you now have express buses from Megabus (Amsterdam - Brussels, Amsterdam - Rotterdam - Gent), iDBus (Amsterdam - Brussels) and IC Bus (Antwerpen - Eindhoven, Brussels - Roermond)
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:07 PM   #2268
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Quote:
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Thalys is quite reliable IMO.
And also ridiculously expensive unless you're the sort of person who plans his free Saturdays weeks in advance.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:35 PM   #2269
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If you want to travel cheap, then got o Rosendaal as domestic passenger, and take a slow train to Essen, and resume trip on domestic fares/schemes in Belgium again.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 04:07 PM   #2270
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Quote:
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If you want to travel cheap, then got o Rosendaal as domestic passenger, and take a slow train to Essen, and resume trip on domestic fares/schemes in Belgium again.
That thing stinks. Literally and figuratively.

I want to travel in an affordable and easy fashion.

Hence I take the car.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 05:14 PM   #2271
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I remeber taking the train from Weert to Antwerpen about 15 years ago when Belgium had their "Train Tram Bus" day, so they opened up the Neerpelt to Weert line for the occasion. When was the last time the line from Neerpelt to Weert took passenger traffic?
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:03 PM   #2272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radamfi View Post
It is often cheaper to split your ticket into different sections: the NL only bit, the BE only bit and the cross-border section.
Well, thanks for the advice. And it seems it's not even needed to switch to the local service to cross the border:

Den Haag HS - Roosendaal: € 13,80

Roosendaal - Antwerpen Centraal: € 8,60 (both IR and IC)

Antwerpen Centraal - Brussel Zuid: € 7,30 (€ 6 if using the Web Deal)

Total: € 29,70 vs. 32,40.

I think I'll just take a bunch of different internal trains to get to Roosendaal, travelling on OV-C saldo, and then switch to traditional ticketing.
Maybe I'll do some southern Dutch explorations on my way to Brussel, and stop in Antwerpen when getting back.

Is the center of Breda worth a visit?


Does anyone know how long can I keep open a travel with NS?
In other words, after checking in at a station how long can I frolick around before checking out at my destination (with all possible stops and visits in the middle).
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I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrooke, and by gum, it put them on the map!
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Due to Photobucket f*cking up, most images won't be visibile in my old posts. If you need anything specific, please write me.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:11 PM   #2273
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Breda has a small network of canals and it is a good place to make photos.

If you are going to Roosendaal, you could also visit Middelbrug and Vlissingen with a side detour.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:15 PM   #2274
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Breda is a nice city with nice parks, different from the cities up north. If you plan on visiting Breda, You could take Veolia bus 19 Breda-Antwerpen-Hulst, it brings you to Antwerpen in 46 minutes for 8,50.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:26 PM   #2275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Roosendaal - Antwerpen Centraal: € 8,60 (both IR and IC)?
I guess you got this price from NS International? According to

https://www.b-europe.com/

and

https://www.belgianrail.be

it is only €6.10.

I normally buy my tickets from https://www.b-europe.com for any international journey involving the Netherlands, even between NL and DE. They even sell tickets for domestic journeys wholly within the Netherlands, sometimes cheaper than by using an OV-Chipkaart.

They also accept credit cards without any fee.

I've never used NS International.

Last edited by radamfi; October 29th, 2014 at 06:33 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:33 PM   #2276
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Interesting perspective... are these cheaper fares available also buying last-minute from NMBS machines?

Also (according to NS International):

Den Haag HS - Antwerpen Centraal (with NS International): € 22,00
Antwerpen Centraal - Brussel Zuid: € 7,30
Total € 29,30

Den Haag HS - Roosendaal: € 13,80
Roosendaal - Brussel Zuid: € 19,00 (12,90 from b-europe.com!)
Total € 32,80


Is there an NMBS vending machine in Roosendaal?
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I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrooke, and by gum, it put them on the map!
Well, sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!

Marchionne means never having to say you're sorry.

Due to Photobucket f*cking up, most images won't be visibile in my old posts. If you need anything specific, please write me.

Last edited by Wilhem275; October 29th, 2014 at 06:43 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:41 PM   #2277
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Good question. I presume in Roosendaal station they only have NS machines, so the fare would be 8.60. It might be worth checking at your local station in Den Haag to see what that machine would charge. (You can buy a ticket starting at any station, not just the one you are at).

The best bet is probably to simply buy online and print out your own ticket.

If you are already in Belgium, I wonder whether they charge the same as the online price for domestic NL journeys if you ask at the ticket office?

Den Haag HS to Schiphol is 8.00 euros on OV-Chipkaart, but 7.80 from the Belgian Railways website.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:46 PM   #2278
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If you are younger than 26 you can buy a Go Pass 1 Roosendaal at SNCB's website. This allows you to travel from Roosendaal to any Belgian station for a fixed price. It is valid on the Beneluxtrein.

Regarding the OV-chipkaart: you are supposed to check out when you leave the station, but if you don't there is no expiry of your check-in until 04:00 next day. Do keep in mind that your check-in will be overwritten when you take any other vehicle (such as a bus), and that you are not supposed to travel towards your check-in station when you continue your journey.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:48 PM   #2279
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I'm 28, too old for this fancy stuff

What I'm missing, in all this mess, is if the Benelux train is considered as a normal internal IC in NL and in Belgium.

In that case one may buy separate tickets for different stretches, and then stay on the same train and just show a different ticket depending on the location.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Regarding the OV-chipkaart: you are supposed to check out when you leave the station, but if you don't there is no expiry of your check-in until 04:00 next day. Do keep in mind that your check-in will be overwritten when you take any other vehicle (such as a bus), and that you are not supposed to travel towards your check-in station when you continue your journey.
This opens up a lot of possible step-by-step visits within the same travel... Sweet!
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I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrooke, and by gum, it put them on the map!
Well, sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!

Marchionne means never having to say you're sorry.

Due to Photobucket f*cking up, most images won't be visibile in my old posts. If you need anything specific, please write me.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:55 PM   #2280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
If you are younger than 26 you can buy a Go Pass 1 Roosendaal at SNCB's website. This allows you to travel from Roosendaal to any Belgian station for a fixed price. It is valid on the Beneluxtrein.
Yes, if you are under 26, you can go anywhere in Belgium except Zaventem airport for just 7.40! (It still costs more to Zaventem airport (12.50) as there is the unavoidable airport surcharge).
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