I have just returned from a brief trip to the Netherlands, where I had the opportunity to ride on trains, particularly those operating intercity.
Dutch Railways offer a reliable train service to a visitor to Holland. Although I have no knowledge yet about the affordability of the trains to the major section of commuters, the quality of service was high, the trains were punctual and comfortable.
I travelled from the Amsterdam Schipol airport to Eindhoven and back, and from Schipol airport to Amsterdam Central and back.
The availability of a large number of ticketing machines, and a helpful information kiosk at Eindhoven and Schipol, staffed by English-speaking personnel made travel easy. Note that buying a ticket at a counter manned by a staffer involves a small additional charge because it is a manual transaction, and buying from the machines is cheaper. Also, the manual counters don’t appear to take bigger denomination notes, starting with 100 Euros.
The stations had clear information on the travel, and for those who wanted assistance, the kiosk was willing to provide it. At Schipol, the station is right below the main concourse leading from the airport plaza. Access to the plaza does not require possession of an airline ticket. There are escalators leading to the underground railway station, suited to the use of baggage (see photo).
Many of us in India believe, very wrongly, that such functions are not possible because of our high population that is constantly jostling for attention. The answer to that is we need more facilities and information boards, not less. Also, it would be productive to deploy more Government servants in these functions, and not in dusty offices doing nothing productive. Currently, our railway stations have a large amount of commercial information in the form of advertisements, but not relevant passenger information.
Anyway, for now, here are the pictures from Schipol. More to follow.
The link to Dutch Railways is here.