No night trains to Amsterdam
Update (2 July 2012)
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has this morning announced that the alterations to services in the Amsterdam area need not be so prolonged as first expected. DB now say that their night trains and other services to and from Amsterdam Centraal will return to normal from Wednesday 4 July. It is, however, worth checking carefully just prior to your date of travel. There are still certain days this summer when engineering works mean that all night trains departing Amsterdam will leave earlier than normal. We know already that this affects all night trains on the following dates: 28 and 29 July; 1, 2, 15 and 16 September. As ever, check before travelling.
Damage to a bridge in Amsterdam is affecting many rail services to and from the Dutch city. With the Watergraafsmeer Bridge out of action, access to the depot where long-distance trains are stabled overnight and prepared for service is much impeded. The situation is fluid and travellers are advised to check the current situation before travelling. Night trains to and from Amsterdam are the most seriously affected.
Some international daytime trains to and from Amsterdam are affected too. Evening Thalys trains from Paris and Brussels are generally being terminated at Schiphol, where passengers can transfer onto frequent local trains for the short hop onward to Amsterdam. Thalys say that they hope they can reinstate their regular timetable by early July.
Evening ICE trains from Germany (on the Cologne to Amsterdam route) are generally ending their journeys at Utrecht. This is affecting ICE train numbers 120 and 122, although ICE 122 will run through to Amsterdam Centraal on Fridays and Sundays. Where ICE trains are terminated at Utrecht, passengers can continue onward to Amsterdam on a connecting Dutch InterCity train. Deutsche Bahn are suggesting that these arrangements may continue through to the end of July.
It is very possible that no overnight trains will run to or from Amsterdam Centraal until the end of July. All night trains bound for Amsterdam are ending their journeys at Utrecht Centraal. Similarly, the night trains that normally depart Amsterdam early evening for a variety of destinations are all now starting their journeys at Utrecht Centraal.
This affects travellers using night trains from Amsterdam to:
If you are using any of these overnight services, leave extra time to travel by local train from Amsterdam Centraal to Utrecht Centraal, transferring there onto the night train on which you are booked. Our advice is to take a train to Utrecht that leaves Amsterdam Centraal about an hour earlier than you would normally have expected to depart from Amsterdam on the night train. This will allow time to connect comfortably in Utrecht onto the overnight service on which you are booked.
On a small number of days, night trains will leave Utrecht even earlier. This is because engineering works (unconnected with the Amsterdam bridge affair) necessitate a further diversion south from Utrecht via Eindhoven. This will, for example, affect all night train departures this coming weekend from Utrecht (viz. trains leaving on Sat 30th June and Sun 1st July). On those days, passengers connecting from Amsterdam must leave even earlier for Utrecht.
Thus, for example, the Jan Kiepura overnight train from Moscow is usually billed to leave Amsterdam Centraal at 19.01. But on the days when the Eindhoven diversion is in place, departure from Utrecht will be at 18.44. Passengers wanting to connect into this train would be well advised to leave Amsterdam Centraal at 17.38 to ensure a comfortable connection onto the Jan Kiepura in Utrecht.
Text by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries