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Old June 23rd, 2013, 01:54 AM   #741
AlexNL
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According to International Rail Journal, Arriva has ordered 8 6-car FLIRT 3 trains from Stadler.
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Old June 30th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #742
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Some pictures I took yesterday.

VIRM's at Leiden Centraal

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3. ICM at Amsterdam Zuid

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4. Amsterdam Centraal

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5.
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6.
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7. DDZ

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8. ICR driving trailer in Rotterdam Centraal

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9. The Hague Centraal

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10.
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IMG_1799 by Momo1435, on Flickr
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Old August 14th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #743
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Today I experienced the bad side of the OV-kaart functionality. I did no consider its application in the trains (but also in the city public transport) as well done, but after today I think that certain aspects of it are clear failure.

I came with the train from Germany to Venlo. I planned that I would go from Venlo to Zwolle and then further on. I searched the price for my trip to be 23 euro op de NS webpage. The trip was Venlo - Nijmegen - Zwolle - further on.

I came in Venlo and had to use Veolia. Checked in at Veolia, checked out in Nijmegen just to pay 13 euro. But then I had to check in again at NS in Nijmegen!! NS then charges further 20 euro. Thus the total price comes at 33 euro instead of 23!!! I realized this in Nijmegen and went to NS counter to demand a refund or another solution. They just send me away with saying that I should have bought the paper ticket in Venlo to get the price 23 euro for the trip.

What kind of system is this?

a) Ov kaart does not in fact function when changing train operators.
b) It does not bring any financial benefit to the customer and I doubt that it brings financial benefit to the operator (due to the investments costs)
c) It makes certain sort of pricing impossible under current implementation.

d) It makes it impossible to know the price of a trip beforehand in similar situations. The only way how to find the price when using OV kaart is looking at the NS reisadvies, but nowhere does NS states the price for when using the OV kaart on this trip!! It just small prints after some clicking that the OV kaart price can differ from the paper ticket price.

I use OV kaart already several years, and can't really see any real benefit, especially in the train transport.

I would guess that the biggest interest in the OV kaart were the companies that were implementing it as it meant and means profit. I can imagine that the NS, Veolia, etc. are also happy with it as it allows unclear pricing, especially in cases like this.

There is no technological obstacle that would not allow the trip I made being charged correctly.

The approach of the NS clerks at the counter in Nijmegen really pissed me off. I must say that consider this type of pricing a theft on a customer.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #744
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
According to International Rail Journal, Arriva has ordered 8 6-car FLIRT 3 trains from Stadler.
FLIRT is ok, and the distance Den Haag - Brussels is not that high (just 160 km). I took FLIRT several times on Ostrava - Praag (360 km) and the economy class could use bit more space though on this distance. Wonder how it will look like.



The point is however, that the FLIRT gives much better economic results than heavy Railjets or others. And the distance is just right for a nice bi-directional tact service.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:18 PM   #745
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surel View Post
Today I experienced the bad side of the OV-kaart functionality. I did no consider its application in the trains (but also in the city public transport) as well done, but after today I think that certain aspects of it are clear failure.

I came with the train from Germany to Venlo. I planned that I would go from Venlo to Zwolle and then further on. I searched the price for my trip to be 23 euro op de NS webpage. The trip was Venlo - Nijmegen - Zwolle - further on.

I came in Venlo and had to use Veolia. Checked in at Veolia, checked out in Nijmegen just to pay 13 euro. But then I had to check in again at NS in Nijmegen!! NS then charges further 20 euro. Thus the total price comes at 33 euro instead of 23!!! I realized this in Nijmegen and went to NS counter to demand a refund or another solution. They just send me away with saying that I should have bought the paper ticket in Venlo to get the price 23 euro for the trip.

What kind of system is this?

a) Ov kaart does not in fact function when changing train operators.
b) It does not bring any financial benefit to the customer and I doubt that it brings financial benefit to the operator (due to the investments costs)
c) It makes certain sort of pricing impossible under current implementation.

d) It makes it impossible to know the price of a trip beforehand in similar situations. The only way how to find the price when using OV kaart is looking at the NS reisadvies, but nowhere does NS states the price for when using the OV kaart on this trip!! It just small prints after some clicking that the OV kaart price can differ from the paper ticket price.

I use OV kaart already several years, and can't really see any real benefit, especially in the train transport.

I would guess that the biggest interest in the OV kaart were the companies that were implementing it as it meant and means profit. I can imagine that the NS, Veolia, etc. are also happy with it as it allows unclear pricing, especially in cases like this.

There is no technological obstacle that would not allow the trip I made being charged correctly.

The approach of the NS clerks at the counter in Nijmegen really pissed me off. I must say that consider this type of pricing a theft on a customer.
a) They are working/have finished working on that, they have elliminated the double check-in cost, though (for splitting the money) double checking in has to happen anyway, the same way you have to when changing train to bus travel

b) on bus/tram/metro systems it does, it gains a much fairer payment structure due to the payment from halt to halt instead of sector too sector (although that can turn out the other way as well). You do not notice this though, because prices have gone up along the whole line

c) ??

d) I do disagree, checking 9292.ov shows exactly what you will pay with the chipkaart.




I find using the OV-card really easy. I travel between Delft-Oss and Delft-Utrecht on a regular basis, and I've started paying less then when I had to buy a regular ticket. (inflations not counted though)
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Old August 15th, 2013, 02:36 AM   #746
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surel View Post
Today I experienced the bad side of the OV-kaart functionality. I did no consider its application in the trains (but also in the city public transport) as well done, but after today I think that certain aspects of it are clear failure.

I came with the train from Germany to Venlo. I planned that I would go from Venlo to Zwolle and then further on. I searched the price for my trip to be 23 euro op de NS webpage. The trip was Venlo - Nijmegen - Zwolle - further on.

I came in Venlo and had to use Veolia. Checked in at Veolia, checked out in Nijmegen just to pay 13 euro. But then I had to check in again at NS in Nijmegen!! NS then charges further 20 euro. Thus the total price comes at 33 euro instead of 23!!! I realized this in Nijmegen and went to NS counter to demand a refund or another solution. They just send me away with saying that I should have bought the paper ticket in Venlo to get the price 23 euro for the trip.
Hold on, let's try to make your story a bit more clear:

You took the Veolia train from Venlo to Nijmegen, and that cost 13 euros?

Then you took the NS train from Nijmegen tot Zwolle, and that cost 20 euros? But you already figured this out in Nijmegen? How can you figure out the cost of the trip is 20 euros, if you haven't travelled to Zwolle yet to check out there?

According to the NS site, the price for travelling from Nijmegen to Zwolle is € 15.20, regardless of whether you use OV-Chip or a paper ticket, so I don't really know where you got your € 20 from?
Or did you forget that NS as standard charges 20 euros off your card on check-in, only to refund you the surplus (20 euros minus the actual cost of your trip) on check-out?


Anyway, according to the NS site the trip Venlo-Nijmegen is only € 10.50, while 9292.nl says it is € 13.04. According to 9292.nl the total trip from Venlo to Zwolle would be € 27.38 for a single journey trip on an OV-Chip without discounts. This would mean the NS part of the trip is € 14.34 in stead of € 15.20, which makes sense because if all is right these days you don't have to pay that 'basistarief' of € 0.83 after switching between trains of different operators, as long as you switch within 35 minutes.


It seems your trip was supposed to be € 27.38.
If I look on the NS website right now for Venlo-Zwolle, it actually tells me that trip is only € 20.70, with a small disclaimer that prices can vary from what you see on the site. If you click that link it explains NS can't possibly know the correct price because part of the trip is done by another operator... in other words, they are morons



In conclusion I think 2 things happened here:
1. NS are morons and they should finally get their stinking websites in order and not provide false information (knowingly even!!)
2. You checked in at NS in Nijmegen, freaked out cause you saw minus 20 euros appearing on the screen, ran to some person and started screaming at them, not realizing you still had to check out at Zwolle to get part of your money back automatically at check-out


The OV-chip has plenty of faults, but the faulty NS website can not be blamed on the OV-chip.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 05:04 AM   #747
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I think most people get confused by the withdraw (4/10/20 euros) and then refund of remainder upon check-out.

I think they should just show the balance upon check-in, and the actual fare upon check-out.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:39 AM   #748
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They should have closed of the stations, just like originally planned. That way you do not need to 'reserve' 20 euros, but only the amount to the next stations and you can travel first, find out how much you need to pay and charge up you card with that amount, before you can leave the destination station (just like in Japan with it's fare adjustment machines).

But no, they created such an impossible chip card system that no money was left to actually implement the closing off of stations. Also in the current system around 1% of the travellers forgets to check out. Thus with trips costing less then 20 euros the remainder goes to the company you travelled with (which according to news sources is around 30 millions euros). You can reclaim this amount though, but lots of people can't be bothered.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #749
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Hold on, let's try to make your story a bit more clear:

You took the Veolia train from Venlo to Nijmegen, and that cost 13 euros?

Then you took the NS train from Nijmegen tot Zwolle, and that cost 20 euros? But you already figured this out in Nijmegen? How can you figure out the cost of the trip is 20 euros, if you haven't travelled to Zwolle yet to check out there?

According to the NS site, the price for travelling from Nijmegen to Zwolle is € 15.20, regardless of whether you use OV-Chip or a paper ticket, so I don't really know where you got your € 20 from?
Or did you forget that NS as standard charges 20 euros off your card on check-in, only to refund you the surplus (20 euros minus the actual cost of your trip) on check-out?


Anyway, according to the NS site the trip Venlo-Nijmegen is only € 10.50, while 9292.nl says it is € 13.04. According to 9292.nl the total trip from Venlo to Zwolle would be € 27.38 for a single journey trip on an OV-Chip without discounts. This would mean the NS part of the trip is € 14.34 in stead of € 15.20, which makes sense because if all is right these days you don't have to pay that 'basistarief' of € 0.83 after switching between trains of different operators, as long as you switch within 35 minutes.


It seems your trip was supposed to be € 27.38.
If I look on the NS website right now for Venlo-Zwolle, it actually tells me that trip is only € 20.70, with a small disclaimer that prices can vary from what you see on the site. If you click that link it explains NS can't possibly know the correct price because part of the trip is done by another operator... in other words, they are morons



In conclusion I think 2 things happened here:
1. NS are morons and they should finally get their stinking websites in order and not provide false information (knowingly even!!)
2. You checked in at NS in Nijmegen, freaked out cause you saw minus 20 euros appearing on the screen, ran to some person and started screaming at them, not realizing you still had to check out at Zwolle to get part of your money back automatically at check-out


The OV-chip has plenty of faults, but the faulty NS website can not be blamed on the OV-chip.

I will try to make it clearer for you.

a) I use OV-kaart since it was introduced. I did not freak out about deposit, and I certainly did not scream on anybody.

b) Now about the trip. My trip was Venlo - Nijmegen - Zwolle - Final destination. The total price should be some 23 Euro.

c) When I checked uit Veolia in Nijmegen I realized that with 13 euro already gone, the total price won't make 23 Euro, but at least 10 more. So I went to the NS counter to solve this.

d) I was sent away with telling me that I should have bought a paper ticket in Venlo for the whole trip and not use the OV-kaart. NO refund, no apology, nothing.

I would have accepted a solution, if they were able to refund the 13 euro paid to Veolia and have me bought a paper card from Venlo to my final destination. Otherwise it is to me a theft on a customer, using information asymmetry.

e) The conclusion is that when using the OV kaart on a journey that involves two operators is more expensive than if buying a paper ticket by NS for the whole trip. Note that you can use the NS ticket for the whole journey even if using Veolia trains (after some searching on the NS page), however you can't check in at NS pole in Venlo and then use Veolia train. I was warned to not do this in Venlo as they would charge me a 200 offense.

@Suburbanist

the balance is shown at check in and fare is shown at check out. Its just they can't show you the price on check in, beforehand. If you go to the NS ticket machine it will show you the ticket price, which is different from the actual price on this trip, due to the two operators involved.

@da_scotty

Thanks for the advice to search for the price on 9292.ov. I never looked there as I don't like the page that much. Maybe I should.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 01:13 PM   #750
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Quote:
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e) The conclusion is that when using the OV kaart on a journey that involves two operators is more expensive than if buying a paper ticket by NS for the whole trip.
That's because the current system charges you a base fare every time you check in. Officially it shouldn't do that, but the operators claim that it's very difficult for them to change. Until that moment a paper ticket is indeed cheaper. Most frequent travellers already know this.

The same problem occurs when using bus, tram and to lesser extend the subway. Everytime you change and need to check out and in again you need to pay the base fare again.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #751
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That's because the current system charges you a base fare every time you check in. Officially it shouldn't do that, but the operators claim that it's very difficult for them to change. Until that moment a paper ticket is indeed cheaper. Most frequent travellers already know this.

The same problem occurs when using bus, tram and to lesser extend the subway. Everytime you change and need to check out and in again you need to pay the base fare again.
What you mean by a base fare? Lump sum payment every time you check in? Well then this is not the only problem here.

The main problem with Veolia + NS is as follows.

a) There is not set km pricing for the train travel. The charges are destination based (from stop to stop). Thus much longer distances will cost you only a fraction more. When splitting the distance in two and out and in checking in the middle of the trip (which is 30 minutes condition with the OV kaart), you pay much more than for the whole trip.

Going from Utrecht to Groningen will cost you much less than going from Utrecht to Zwolle, and then from Zwolle to Groningen. This problem is not present with the paper train ticket, because you can stop in Zwolle for as long you want in the given day. With a OV-kaart, you have officially just 30 minutes (I think it is 30 minutes) to change a train in Zwolle.

b) This problem then multiplies when two operators are present. Because you are forced to check out and checked in. Furthermore, the operators have different fares for the same destination to destination trips!! And what more? The operators get different subsidies for passenger/kms

c) Further problem of the system is traveling via another station. Imagine that I would go from Venlo to Nijmegen using only NS going through Eindhoven, checking in at NS pole in Venlo and checking out at NS pole in Nijmegen... what kind of price would I be charged? Even the NS is not able to give me that price on its site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Officially it shouldn't do that, but the operators claim that it's very difficult for them to change.
Could you elaborate on this? Do the operators something illegal?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 02:29 PM   #752
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A big problem is keeping a difference among operators. To the customer, it should be completely transparent what operator is actually performing che task. The concept should be "A train travel from Venlo to Nijmegen" or "Taking a bus in Amsterdam", who cares if it's NS, Veolia, GVB or Connexxion... it's up to them to split their quota.

Knowing that Venlo - Nijmegen is operated by Operator X (for x km) and Nijmegen - Zwolle is operated by Operator Y (for y km) makes it pretty easy to split the income: Operator X gets (Total sum * x)/(x+y).


How does the train ticket check work with OV-C? You check in at any station, get on a train, then the train staff checks your kaart: since they don't know your destination, what should they look for?
- if you actually checked it
- if you have enough money
- what else?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #753
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Knowing that Venlo - Nijmegen is operated by Operator X (for x km) and Nijmegen - Zwolle is operated by Operator Y (for y km) makes it pretty easy to split the income: Operator X gets (Total sum * x)/(x+y).
Exactly, but the system is not designed in this way. In Venlo, you have two poles for checking in. One is of NS and the other one of Veolia.

If you use NS train, you have to check in at the NS pole.
If you use Veolia train, you have to check in at the Veolia pole.
If you don't do it, or mistakenly check at the other pole, they will charge you fine as if you did not buy a fare at all.

Why is this? One pole should be enough right? Yeah, it should, but then if both operators had trains on the same Venlo - Nijmegen trip, how would they know which train did you chose, and how could they compete? Therefore they make two poles! But then you are forced to check out and check in when you change a operator.


The system is simply not well designed. Instead of designing the system from the top down approach. I.e. saying what do you want from it:

a) A check in electronic system
b) Quick check in and check out.
c) Transparent fares, competing operators = different prices by different operators.
d) One transparent price for a given trip (destination to destination) on a given day for each possible combination of operators.
e) The price for given trip and given combination of operators should be known beforehand.


Besides the OV-kaart has further faults and bad design, as it prevents group pricing, special pricing offers etc. I wonder whether a redesign of the system would be as costly as implementing the system in a first place. The current OV-kaart is in no way good enough replacement for the classic paper ticket.

I could imagine a quick update of the system which would not have to be that expensive. A passenger could buy a electronic ticket beforehand at the NS or other vending machines. The ticket would be clearly planned and structured and transparent pricing would be available. But yeah, what is the advantage over a paper ticket then right?

Another solution could be that when changing operators, the system would adjust the total fare for both at the second check out. I.e.

1) Having charged card at 40 euro
2) Check in at Veolia Venlo, charge of 10 euro deposit. Card at 30 euro.
3) Check out at Veolia Nijmegen, charge of fare 13 euro, deposit goes back. Card at 27 euro.
4) Check in at NS in Nijmegen, charge of 20 euro deposit. Card at 7 euro.
5) Check out at NS in destination, charge of Nijmegen - final destination fare 20 euro, deposit goes back,settlement of the whole trip - netting between NS and Veolia, overcharge of 10 euro goes back, Card at 17 euro.
6) Veolia received 13 and NS received 10. NS and Veolia net out based on the % they agreed for given journey.


Another main advantage of any sort of similar electronic prepayed cards for its operators is that it gives the companies access to the money of their customers. A 5 million Dutch having charged their OV kaart at average 40 Euro outstanding gives the operators access to additional 200 mil Euro as a interest free loan.

Last edited by Surel; August 15th, 2013 at 08:09 PM.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #754
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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
How does the train ticket check work with OV-C? You check in at any station, get on a train, then the train staff checks your kaart: since they don't know your destination, what should they look for?
- if you actually checked it
- if you have enough money
- what else?
Well, they look where did you check in. I can imagine a situation where someone checks in in Den Haag, travels to Amsterdam, does not check out and would want to go back to Den Haag. When the train conductor would check his card on board of the train from Amsterdam to Den Haag and would find out that he did not checked in Amsterdam, he would be fined. It would be interesting to know the precise rulings on those situations though.


Because on the other side, the OV-C offers you some flexibility. Imagine I am traveling from Amsterdam to Utrecht and would go further on to Eindhoven. In Utrecht I realize I want to go to Den Haag instead, I can just do that without losing money, because the transaction happens just after the trip.

This of course brings further problems, because someone could travel on purpose Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag, Rotterdam, etc, Eindhoven, but paying the fare for direct trip Amsterdam - Eindhoven, while making a stop in Den Haag.

Since the conductors don't leave information on the OV-C (at least I think so) the charge made in Eindhoven would not reflect through which cities you went. It just charges the shortest possible route.

This is of course the main difference between the public transport use of the OV-C and the train use. In the public transport, person checks in and out in every vehicle, therefore the whole route is precisely known. In the train, a person checks in and out just on the start and end station, while the route is not really known.

If you forced everyone to re-check at every station where a train is changed, you would make the traveling quite troublesome. Unless the poles would be either in trains, of at least several on each platform at the stations where a change of a train happens.

Also how would you differentiate a re-check from an out-check? You would have to design the system as such, that every additional check after the fist in check would conduct a recalculation of the total fare for the whole trip, if this happened in a reasonable time during one day. In fact this could work on daily bases, i.e. the total fare could be just settled with the last check out in that given day.

I.e.

1) first station A, check in
2) second station B, check-out (re-check), Settlement for route A-B
3) third station C, check-out (re-check). Refund route A-B, Settlement for route A-C.
etc. etc.

There would other problems emerge though. Imagine you would check in in station A, rode with a train to station B, then traveled with a car to a station C, and there checked again in order to travel to station D. The system could not know whether you used train the whole time or not and it would charge you the whole distance A to D instead of A-B plus C-D.


I can't see at the moment really good solution with the current design of the checking poles. They either must come inside the trains (further problems with free riding - thus better on the outer side of the trains doors), or they have to be equipped with a choice function (which would slow the whole thing down enormously).
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #755
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I have also question
When I travel from Belgium on IC train to Eindhoven via Roosendaal and I have train ticket only to Roosendaal (issued by SNCB, NMBS) and 2 minutes for train change, how and should I check-in using my Dutch OV-chipkaart?
There is no time to run to station building and check in? Or check my OV-kaart if my Voordeelurenabonnement card is valid/active...
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:25 PM   #756
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They should have closed of the stations, just like originally planned. That way you do not need to 'reserve' 20 euros, but only the amount to the next stations and you can travel first, find out how much you need to pay and charge up you card with that amount, before you can leave the destination station (just like in Japan with it's fare adjustment machines).
But they can't close te stations. Not unless they man them again.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #757
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I have also question
When I travel from Belgium on IC train to Eindhoven via Roosendaal and I have train ticket only to Roosendaal (issued by SNCB, NMBS) and 2 minutes for train change, how and should I check-in using my Dutch OV-chipkaart?
There is no time to run to station building and check in? Or check my OV-kaart if my Voordeelurenabonnement card is valid/active...
When making an international journey you are still entitled to buy a paperticket from your origine to your final destination. Your Voordeelurenabonnement or Dalvoordeel will be valid after 9:00 on the Dutch part of the journey on tickets issues by NS (HIspeed).
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Old August 16th, 2013, 12:18 AM   #758
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16h00-18h30 is also peak time.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 12:52 AM   #759
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16h00-18h30 is also peak time.
That doesn't matter when you have the old Voordeelurenabonnement, only if you have one of the newer passes (such as Dal Voordeel). I'm not sure how the peak limitations apply if you have a paper ticket issued abroad.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 03:32 AM   #760
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I think all old Voordeelurenabonnement already expired, didn't they? Did NS sell those discount passes valid for more than 1 year?
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