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Dutch trains ( student story #5)

Student stories 27 September 2007, 00:00

Student of MA in International Leisure and Tourism Studies Elena Starkova tells: I have come across many difficulties and specific features of Dutch railroad system and want to tell you about it. 

Student of MA in International Leisure and Tourism Studies Elena Starkova tells: I have come across many difficulties and specific features of Dutch railroad system and want to tell you about it. Everything there is in Dutch. All the stations are announced in Dutch language so if you are not really good in it yet just look around.

dutch train, dutch railroads, transportation to LeeuwardenI had 2 funny accidents. I was sitting in the train going to my sweet Leeuwarden, relaxed, enjoying the landscape. But immediately after some announcements by a drive, people started to leave the train very quickly. And it was not the last station, not yet the middle. Beeing smart enough I asked people in English what is going on here and the answer surprised me a lot. Part of the train was going to my destination - Leeuwarden and another part was going to Groningen. Strange... Still didn’t get how it could be but I joined the people and moved to another wagon and the train left the next moment after the doors were closed after me.

If you are going to travel a lot (as I do!) I advice you to buy a discount card. It cost about 60 euro (per year!) and it worths it! It will save you 40% of a ticket price to any destination by train. You can use it every day from 9:00 and weekend any time. If you are a student you can try to get a card wich will let you travel for free. But first you should get a residence permit and fill out a lot of papers so it can take half a year. 

If you travel from or to a small city you will need to change your train maybe even more than once. Between big cities there is a straight connection. When you are buying a ticket just go to the ticket office and ask for a schedule. Otherwise you can also plan your trip beforehand by visiting the website of NS. On the website there is an English version and you can check the schedule, time and price on your destination. You can also see if you need to chenge to another train to reach your destination. For changing you will have around 5 min. And you will need to run from one platform to another, so get ready =).

And a couple words about the second accident. I forgot to change trains. Yeah, just forgot. And when I found it out I was at the last station and very far form my final destination. It was about 10 pm. Usually about 9 pm the last train is leaving. Being lucky I cought the train there to Leeuwarden and in 2 hours at midnight came back home (if I would not forget to change I would be there at 10!). Good thing that at least the controller didn’t make me pay for another ticket.

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