The Dutch railway company NS has started trial runs with a new train that should take half an hour less from Amsterdam to Brussels.
The test runs with the new Intercity (ICNG type) are necessary to ensure that the train has access to the Dutch and Belgian rail, NS said. They are being done in conjunction with the Alstom train manufacturing plant.
The new train needs to become operational in 2024 as the Brussels Intercity, also known as the Benelux Train or Amsterdammer. With a top speed of 200 kilometres per hour, it is faster than the current train (160 km/hr.), which should shave half an hour off the travel time between Brussels and Amsterdam, currently two hours and 52 minutes.
Dutch media reported earlier that some Belgian stops could possibly be cut out to further shorten the travel time on the route, but that was denied on Friday by Belgian railway operator SNCB.
“Together with NS, we are looking at possibilities for improving the Brussels-Amsterdam link under the next cooperation agreement, but based on what is on the table, Belgian stations that are currently connected with the Netherlands will remain connected,” SNCB spokesman Bart Crols said.