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ABS Tickets: Amsterdam to Bruges to Paris

ABS Tickets: Amsterdam to Bruges to Paris

Feb 29th, 2008, 04:52 AM
  #1  
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ABS Tickets: Amsterdam to Bruges to Paris

Hi All,

I am still trying to finalize everything. Thanks for all that helped previously. One more question as Iím trying to look into train tickets. I spoke to an agent and she told me that ABS tickets may the best option for me. We are 2 adults and 2 children-ages 7 and 9.

My initial plan was to go from Amsterdam to Brussels and then to Bruges. Stop in Bruges and then go to Paris. She tells me that I should go Amsterdam to Bruges (via Antwerp) and then stop in Brussels on the way to Paris to take advantage of ABS which may work out cheaper. So I tried looking into it; August schedules are not available yet, but I am very confused.

Another question I have: Does the train from Amsterdam to Bruges stop in Den Haag. I wanted to take the kids to Madurodam for 2-3 hours and this would work so well. Per the schedule, I see that it makes a 2 minute stop, but is this on the high speed train? If I can stop in Madurodam on my way from Amsterdam to Bruges, it will definitely give me more time to explore Amsterdam. Thanks.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 05:02 AM
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I don't know about the ABS ticket, but Amsterdam to Antwerp is on the Thalys line -- see, for example, here:

http://www.thalys.com/nl/en/

So trains should stop in Den Haag. There are also usual "express" trains for this route (i.e. you don't need to take the special Thalys trains).

You'll see from the map that Bruges is not on this line, so you'll have to switch trains anyway -- in either Antwerp or Brussels.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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The best timetables for all of Europe are at www.bahn.de. The site is viewable in English. Enter a date within the next 90 days. Enter Amsterdam as your departure point and Brugge as your destination point. After you get summary timetables, click on "Details for all" to see the connecting points. You'll see that you have many choices for the route on IC trains. Cheaper than Thalys trains and no reservations needed. Click on "Show intermediate stops" for any route you choose. You'll see that Den Haag is listed.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 05:37 AM
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If you take the intercity instead of the Thalys you can get railrunner tickets for the kids for €2. I think they are then valid until the border. You can buy tickets for the Belgian part of the trip at the same time as your own from a ticket kiosk. Make sure you say you are travelling with kids and ask about the railrunner tickets.
Intercities to Antwerp from Amsterdam stop in Den Haag.
You will need to set off early if you intend visitng Madurodam on the way. It is not close to the station, you will need to get a bus (and maybe a tram also!). So you will also need a strippenkaart.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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Thanks. Do you think it's best to squeeze Madurodam in while staying in amsterdam or on my way to Bruges?

Although it's not a must see, I think the kids would really enjoy it.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Amsterdam - Bruges does not or should not involved Thalys trains as they could cost more and are marginally faster between Amsterdam and Antwerp where you change to go to Bruges

ABS fare only comes into play Bruges to Brussels though i guess if you wrote a Thalys fare to Brussels from Amsterdam you could then use the ABS fare to reach Bruges - a longer route and perhaps with Thalys fares would be more (but not always)

Both Thalys and IC trains will stop in Den Hague H.S. station, not in the town center but with tram or taxi links of course to Maur'dam

Nice thing about the IC trains is that since they do not require reservations you can just hop on them with your ticket without formality - breaking a journey on Thalys trains is not allowed like on the IC trains on an Amsterdam-Bruges ticket you could get on and off anywhere en route i believe without formality
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Are you sure you can hop off an IC? I'm not sure if that's the case. You can take any IC train, but I'm not sure if you can get off in the middle and get on another IC train.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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that's my impression - if you have a ticket say Amsterdam to Antwerp you can use it on any IC train - but ask at counter and then simply buy an IC ticket Amsterdam-Den hague
and there to Bruges - buy them both in Amsterdam

but i believe since these trains do not require reservations and are basically one-fee you can take any of them

i am not positive however so ask. But it would allow OP to spend as much time as desired in Den Hague - in fact if writing two tickets you may want to go Amsterdam to Den Hague Central Station (CS) which is not on the mainline like Den hague HS station is - closer by a lot to Maur'dam and then you'd taxi or tram to H.S. to reboard

Another problem i'd investigate is that they may be no place to store luggage at either station - well there is but i found a few weeks ago that the luggage lockers typically openly operate in Holland now with credit cards - no coins so i asked in Amsterdam luggage if my American credit card would work in the lockers - they said they'd heard it would not but were not certain - the system is fairly new i think

So if planning to store bags in Den Hague whilst visiting Maur'dam ask specifically about that - may not be possible.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:19 AM
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I'm sure you can take any IC train if you have an IC ticket. What I'm questioning is whether you can break the journey in the middle with one ticket. You may need two tickets.

I'm pretty sure in Germany you cannot break an IC journey if you have a point-to-point ticket. I don't know what the rules are for Amsterdam. But frequently the A to B ticket is the same (or nearly the same) as A to C + C to B.

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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Wow---before I even think about doing this, I need to check the luggage storage options. I thought that the train station would be fine, but from what I read here...this may pose a problem.

May just be easier to see Madurodam while in Amsterdam.

Thanks.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Here is a quote from the Belgian Railways site:

"If you'd like to break your journey in one of the stations on your route, or follow a specific itinerary, make this known when you buy your ticket. You will be given a 'Via' ticket. This states the station where you would like to break your journey, as well as your departure and destination stations. A 'Via' ticket is always issued for a single journey. The price of the 'Via' ticket offering a 50% reduction is the price of the journey from the departure station to the 'Via' station, plus the price of the journey from the 'Via' station to the destination station."

I don't know if the same is true for travel in the Netherlands.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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www.ns.nl Dutch rail site may have the answers

at least pricing to compare individual segments with thru ticket

i really don't know for sure - just saying what has generally been a rule with such trains - but things are changing
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Yes, I learned about the Belgian VIA from here -- I think from MyriamC. But of course Holland could be different.

Anyway, in Holland if you buy a ticket from a ticket agent, you pay a small surcharge (no such surcharge from a machine).

I'm pretty sure that there are lockers in Den Haag. I've used lockers in Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp, Amsterdam. In a trip two years ago, I went to Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Gent, Amsterdam all in one day, so I know that I had to use the lockers there. With Den Haag I'm not as positive, but I'd be very surprised if there are none.

One small risk would be lockers closed for security/terrorist concerns, but I'd say that's very unlikely.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Actually I think that trip was 3 years ago. Wow, time flies.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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There are lockers but as i wrote above now you apparently cannot or possible need a credit card with a chip in it to access them

Most American credit cards do not work in Dutch station ticket machines because they do not have the required chip

I really don't know if it's the same with train station lockers but thinking it may be

and there are no manual luggage services in Hague stations i think

could be stuck with luggage so inquire before if it's important - but i suspose with a taxi you could manage taking them with you
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Feb 29th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Where's the info about needing credit cards for lockers? I can't imagine that that can be the case either. Prepare coins.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Why not read what i wrote above?

I was just in all those stations a few weeks back and in all Dutch station lockers you can ONLY pay with a credit card or some kind of CHIP card - there are no facilities for coins anymore

ONLY CREDIT CARDS PRESUMABLY WITH THE CHIP NEEDED LIKE IN TRAIN STATION MACHINES but not sure
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Feb 29th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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You can pay for the luggage locker with either a Dutch CHIP card, a Maestro ATM card (with 4 cipher PIN), and at Amsterdam Centraal, Rotterdam, Utrecht Centraal and Den Haag Centraal (NOT HS) a Visa card or a Mastercard. No mention of the CC needing a chip. The Dutch Chip card is an electronic wallet nothing to do with the chip on CCs.
A big locker costs €4.90 a day.

I have just checked the NS rules (only available in Dutch and as a pdf) and it states that a trip can be broken provided you are using the shortest route to your destination (which you are) and you will complete your journey within the validty of the ticket.

So no problem with getting out at Den Haag.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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Ah ok, I see it under 2:08 pm.

By the way, I don't necessarily read these threads word for word, and I'm not sure if others do as well, so don't take it personally if I ask for clarification or repetition. When there're many posts it's easy to gloss over.
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Feb 29th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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If the lockers are cc operated, do you need the cc to unlock the locker? If not, you can think about asking another Dutch person to pay for you while you pay him/her back in cash -- if your own cc doesn't work. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say.
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