I'm posting this partly to ask for advice from the locals, and partly as a heads-up to other visitors (and partly as a whinge!)
I've seen barriers at train stations... but until last Saturday I had never come across any that were actually closed.
I was on my way to Schiphol using my (permanent) OV Chipkaart. I had to change trains at Sloterdijk - a station I've used before, but don't know terribly well.
The indicator boards told me that my train was scheduled to depart from Platform 10 - which turned out to be in a different part of the main station. I had to leave the building, walk across the station forecourt and then go into another building.
When I got to the other building I discovered that the barriers were closed... and that the only way to get onto the platform was to touch in with my OV Chipkaart. I was surprised - as there were no barriers in the main building, nor any signs warning passengers to touch out before heading to platforms 9 and 10 - but thought, naively, that perhaps the system was intelligent enough to somehow "know" if a passenger was in transit (for example, by looking at the time they last touched in).
But... when I got to Schiphol I discovered that my journey had cost me 20 Euro more than it should have done!!!
I went to the ticket office to ask for advice, and was given a print-out of my transactions and a phone number to contact for a refund (I've since found out that I can also claim online). Refunds are done by bank transfer, which means that if you're outside the Eurozone you either can't get a refund at all, or you get a refund minus bank charges (which could leave you with next to nothing). Fortunately this is not going to be an issue for me as I have a bank account in Germany.
Now... Sloterdijk is quite a major interchange, and I really find it very strange that they would have barriers blocking people's way to some platforms - and stranger still that travellers aren't warned about these barriers before they get to them. I wonder just how many people get caught out by this.
I think I know what to do to get a refund, but was wondering if any of the locals had any information that might help me, or others. Also, are there any other stations where one could get caught out like this?Edited: 2:13 pm, March 10, 2016