International connections

Working with international transport partners, NS connects large cities and regions together in Germany, Belgium and France. Last year, the number of journeys sold fell by 9.3% to somewhat over 3.1million international journeys. The reason for this fall is partly related to the attacks in Paris and Brussels.

IC Brussels developments

An agreement has been reached with the (Dutch) Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment on speeding up the IC Brussels journey. This is done by running 12 of the 16 trains via the HSL to Amsterdam. The time gained is half an hour. The other four trains run to Den Haag HS. This timetable will take effect once the rolling stock has been adapted for running on the HSL. IC Brussels will also run via Breda instead of Roosendaal from that point on. This ensures that passengers from Noord-Brabant can travel to Belgium more quickly, and vice versa.


Fourteen Thalys trains a day ran in each direction between Amsterdam and Paris all year long in 2016. Two trains run to and from Lille every day: one in the morning, and one in the evening. That makes it possible to travel to Lille and back in one day.

Travelling from and to Germany

Since 2016, the early ICE from Amsterdam also goes via Cologne. In additional, the early CNL train to the Netherlands has been replaced by a quicker, early ICE from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. The ICE is running in the Amsterdam-Germany direction with an additional train set going to Basel. This provides more seats. Since the 2017 timetable, the Intercity to Berlin only runs in the summer months. In the winter, a later train has been put on as a replacement from Amsterdam to Bad Bentheim, where passengers can change trains.

Regional connections

A change in the train services in Germany means that the train from Heerlen to Aachen now terminates at Herzogenrath, where passengers can change for a direct train to Aachen. Additionally, NS participated in studies last year looking at opportunities for running more international trains at various border crossings. The value of the improvements for passengers and the business cases were also studied.