Prices of train tickets to Belgium to increase dramatically23 October 2012, by Carly Blair
The price of travelling between the Netherlands and Belgium on both high-speed and regular trains is set to increase dramatically from December 9 onwards, when the Fyra train service takes over for the existing Benelux train service, as reported by Treinreiziger.nl last week.
The cost of a single train ticket between Amsterdam and Brussels will increase from 40,40 to 54 euros. A flexible day return ticket between the two cities will go up from 51,80 to 108 euros, while a day return from Rotterdam to Antwerp will increase from 25 to 70 euros.
The new higher prices were apparently published by accident on the website of Belgian national railway company NMBS, but were removed shortly thereafter, according to Treinreiziger.nl.
The high speed train service will cut travel times from three to two hours. However, reservations are required for the Fyra trains, so travellers will no longer be able to just show up and catch a direct train between the two cities. Also, once Fyra takes over there will be fewer services between Amsterdam and Brussels (10 per day vs. 16 per day currently).
If you book a Fyra train ticket early, you can travel between Amsterdam and Brussels for just 25 euros, and between Rotterdam and Antwerp for just 20 euros, but according to Treinreiziger these tickets tend to sell out very quickly. Furthermore, they can only be used for the specific trip for which they are purchased.
Passengers who want to avoid the Fyra service can go by way of slower trains between the south of the Netherlands and Belgium, but the prices of day return (departing after 9am) and weekend return tickets on these train are also apparently set to increase anywhere from 45 to 68 percent.
Photo by Flickr user LHOON
However, the price of one way tickets, day return tickets departing before 9am, and multiple day return tickets (which are priced as 2 one way tickets) will not change.
In reply to inquiries by Treinreiziger, an NS spokesman said that they are still negotiating new prices with the Belgians. The fact remains that it is not possible to book the less expensive tickets for departure dates after December 8.
You can see a complete overview of Fyra ticket prices for travel between Amsterdam, Schiphol, and Rotterdam and Brussels and Antwerp here, and Treinreiziger's overview of slow train ticket price increases here.