SNCB, the Belgian national railway operator, is set to increase intercity travel between the capital Brussels and the Netherlands, by December 2024, utilising the new Intercity Next Generation train (ICNG).

Doubling intercity trains crossing the regions from 16 to 32, the journey is set to last around two hours on the maximum speed line travelling at 200km/h.

Including a 45-minute cut in travel time, the new intercity train will reach major stations including Brussels Central, Rotterdam Central and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Antwerp Central.

With a new starting point at Amsterdam Zuid (South), NS stated travellers will experience a faster train experience with fewer intermediate stops.

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NS chief executive Wouter Koolmees emphasised the sustainability aspect of the new service and how the company’s passengers are always kept at the forefront: “Every traveller who chooses the train as a means of transport to Brussels is helping to combat climate change. It’s up to us to make the green option also the easy option.

“With this substantial expansion, we are going to Brussels more often than ever and offering even more travellers the option of a smooth international train journey.”

As previously reported by Railway Technology, “the ICNG trains consist of vast and well-lit multi-purpose areas” and are set to accommodate 413 passengers wishing to make the intercity connection.

Alongside the 16 train services added, NS announced an intercity connection linking Rotterdam Central to Brussels via Breda, which is set to travel 16 times a day.

The Rotterdam Central train will ensure a direct journey for travellers leaving and entering Brussels Airport.

NS emphasised the popularity aspect of increasing travel opportunities to Brussels, as the Dutch carrier sold approximately 39,000 tickets per month to the region during Q1 2023.