Dutch train ticket are expensive compared to other EU countries
Not only are Dutch train ticket more expensive than neighboring countries such as Belgium and Germany, but cross-border train tickets are often more expensive here too, RTL Nieuws reported Wednesday.
For example, a round-trip ticket from the Belgian border town of Essen to Antwerp costs €6.60 round-trip, while taking the same train in Rosendaal, the Netherlands, just eight kilometers away, costs €16.40 round-trip.
RTL said the parking lot at Essen station was two-thirds full with cars with Dutch license plates that benefited from cheaper fares in Belgium. International train travel may be cheaper if you book with another train company. A trip from Amsterdam to Budapest booked through NS costs €109.90. However, the same trip on the same train booked through Hungarian railway company MAV-Start costs only €66, according to RTL.
Ava Taylor Perkins of rail passenger lobby group Rover told RTL that price differentials are a big issue. “Ideally, passengers should pay the same price no matter where they book.”
International train reservations in particular can be problematic, she said. “You often have to book different sections of your trip separately,” she stressed. “Passengers have to find out for themselves where to book, and it is very difficult to tell if there are good deals.”
An NOS study earlier this year found that NS, a wholly state-owned company, pays the Dutch government €80 million a year for the concession to operate the railway, which is equivalent to 14% of ticket prices. Labor costs account for 41%, investment and maintenance 43%, and VAT 9%. NS does not receive any subsidies from the government.