a VirtualTourist member asked on Jul 19, 2015
Hi! I'll be travelling from Schiphol to the Hook of Holland with a cat on August 17th. I've been looking at the train times and decided on the 15.16 train from the airport. It arrives at Schiedam Centrum at 16.03 and I'll have 4 minutes to swap from an Intercity train on platform 3 to a Sprinter train on platform 2. Is this doable? I'm stressing out a little in case I'll have to change platforms via an overpass, I'll have about 40kgs of luggage with me (and a cat). Are the platforms beside each other? Thanks for answering!
You can get a pdf plan of the station if you click here:
and then open the pdf link called 'Plattegrond van station Schiedam Centrum'
Platforns 2 and 3 are directly opposite each, on either side of a central platform 'strip'.
Thank you :) Have you done the trip before? I'm not usually nervous about travelling, I think it's just because it's the most important part in a loooong trip back home from Russia with a cat.
I've travelled by train in the Netherlands lots of times but not that particular route.
4 minutes is enough if a) your inbound train is not delayed and b) you are ready to get off, with bags and cat, when the train stops.
If you're going to worry about it too much then just take a later train.
How long have you allowed between your flight's arrival time and the 1516 train?
An hour and a half, but there is a later train I'm considering (it also has a 4 minute transfer time). Are they generally on time?
Is the cat travelling in the cabin with you? If it isn't I'd want to allow longer than an hour and a half. But you don't need to buy the tickets in advance online anyway, and there's no advantage in doing so, so it really doesn't matter if you miss the 1516.
I can't say whether trains are generally on time. As far as I know they are, and they have been whenever I've used them. As 4 minutes are allowed for the transfer you can be certain that it is sufficient time. Time allowed for changes of train are, by default, never impossible.
If a delay means you miss the connection to the Sprinter you just wait until the next departure. No biggie.
You do have more than the usual amount of baggage to sort out but I'm sure people will give you a hand if necessary.
What time is your ferry? You have, I assume, already booked the kennel for the cat?
Am I correct in assuming that you intend to take the overnight ferry?
If so then you don't have to be at the Hoek until 20.00 and so by taking the 15.16 train you'll be arriving far too early to board. The terminal facilities at the Hoek are pretty basic - a cafe (which isn't always open), a couple of vending machines and the toilets. With 40 kgs of luggage and a cat you won't be taking a wander into the town.
You might be better off hanging an hour or two at Schiphol and have a bite to eat - there's loads of places to do so, and get a later train. Your ticket is valid for any train on the day of issue.
Dutch trains can be a little inconsistent regarding punctuality but if you aim to be at the Hoek before 20.00 then missing one connection won't matter as the trains from Schiedam run every 30 minutes.
Yes, the cat will be in the cabin with me. I don't actually have a train ticket yet, I've been umming and ahhing over which train to take. Would it be easier to book online and take some sort of e-ticket, or to buy a ticket on the day?
I'll be taking the overnight ferry to Harwich, the kennel has already been booked.
Thank you so much for your answers!
There's no need to book online for that route since there are no reservations possible and no price advantage in doing so. The train ticket machines at Schiphol are a bit of a mish-mash (or at least were last time I passed through) - some don't take foreign cards, others take Euro coins but not notes and so maybe best if you just buy your train ticket from the desk. There's a 50 cent surcharge but they'll print you off a route timetable so that you know exactly where you're going.
Just one thing though. If you have 40 kgs of luggage, that's a lot to haul up into the ferry - the uphill gangway takes me almost 5 minutes and that's just with a shoulder bag. They do have trolleys but it might be worth your while asking at the ferry office at the Hoek when you arrive whether they can assist with your luggage - they really are very helpful if you ask nicely.
Instead of taking all your luggage with you to your cabin they can put the heavy stuff into the luggage room, which is secured during the crossing.
You can catch the IC2646 from schipol arriving at Rotterdam Central at 16.08 9 (sixth stop) .This is a modern station with lots of amenities and a short walk to the main shopping street. The train to Hook van Holland runs every 30 minutes at 2 minutes past the hour or half hour and is on time.You will get off at Hoek van Holland Haven (second last stop) It then goes one more stop to the strand. There is not much there apart from the ferry terminal .Small cafe etc, in terminal.
Now we know you are catching the late ferry John's advice makes sense. Don't rush to get to the port. Stay in Schiphol for a while and have something to eat, freshen up etc etc.
When I visited Schiphol earlier this year I couldn't find any ticket machines which accepted coins, so you may as well use the ticket office (very easy).
As I said, and John reiterated, there is absolutely no point in buying your ticket online in advance and no advantage in doing so. In fact, it's not a good idea because you cannot be 100% certain that your inbound flight won't be delayed. So just wait until you are at Schiphol.
I'm very pleased to hear that you already have a kennel booked.
Howdy! I just returned from a nice afternoon boating about near Hoek van Holland (note the spelling HOEK _not HOOK_ since it is important if you are using the ticket vending machine).
I live in in this area and have done the train trip loads of times.
People are right: you do not book tickets online beforehand. Absolutely no need, there are plenty of trains from Schiphol to Schiedam or Rotterdam (from where you travel on to HvH).
Trains are on time or perhaps just a few minutes off schedule.
From Schiphol there are two routes; either via Leiden-The Hague-Delft-Schiedam OR Schiphol - Gouda - Rotterdam.
Then you change trains at either Schiedam or Rotterdam to go to Hoek van Holland.
Now you need to choose Hoek van Holland HAVEN (because Hoek van Holland STRAND will take you to the beach).
Don't umm and hmm about it. At Schiphol follow the signs to the station (it is walkable), buy your ticket, ask for your platform and stroll down there. You can be relaxed, there are plenty of trains.
if you go to the following website : [original link] (you can select English on top of the site) you can enter the exact adress where you want to start from, and where you want to go. It wil give you all the travel info you need, including walking time between stations.
I live in Amsterdam, and as a dutch I always use this website, like everybody else :)
My tip is to buy a OV- chipcard when you arive in the Netherlands. You can put enough money on it (on the website i suggested, you can get the exact price for your trip) so you don't have to buy a ticket for your way back, and can use it in Amsterdam aswell. It's usable for trams, metro, bus and all the trains. You just have scan it at the OV chip points (in the trams at the dooropening) at the station ...the are everywhere (at the staion they are yellow with a OV-chipcard in purple drawn on it, or at the entrance of the station at the gates you have to go through). If you need help, there are people from the NS (the dutch railcompany) who can help you! And almost all dutch speak English :)
One big note for the OV chip card: always scan when entering a tram for instance....and when leaving it...Scan out! You can do this at the exits of ever tram .
Enjoy your time here in Amsterdam!