Travellers will be able to travel faster between Belgium and the Netherlands in the course of 2024. The NS train that does it can be seen for the first time in its home country from Sunday 4 December. In the near future, this train may just cross the Dutch landscape. Together with the train manufacturer Alstom, NS is carrying out tests to ensure that the train has access to the Dutch and Belgian railways.
This is the first very latest Intercity (type ICNG) with a new look: flowing lines, lots of recognisable NS yellow and a large white logo on the side. Previously, all the Nightjet locomotives to Switzerland and Austria were provided with this new look, as were the modernised double-deckers (type VIRM 2&3). All future trains will have this new look.
Faster between Belgium and The Netherlands
With this new Intercity, among other things, NS and the Belgian carrier NMBS/SNCB want to bring travellers to the other country more quickly from 2024. The journey from Amsterdam to Brussels currently takes 2.52 hours, but the aim is to shorten the travel time by half an hour. With a top speed of 200 km/h, this train is faster than the current trains (max 160 km/h).
These trains will serve both Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Brussels Airport.
According to Dutch media, some of the stopovers in Belgium would be axed for the route, in order to reduce travel time between the two destinations. Currently, the Intercity train stops at Brecht, Antwerp, Mechelen and Brussels Airport in Belgium.
Belgian rail operator NMBS/SNCB denied this claim on Friday, noting that they were “examining together with the NS opportunities for improving the Brussels-Amsterdam connection with the framework of the next cooperation agreement, but on the basis of what is on the table, the Belgian stations who now have a connection with the Netherlands, will keep it,” a company spokesperson said.
An alternative (and even faster) connection is available with Thalys, which operates a high-speed train between Paris and Amsterdam, via Brussels.