The high-speed Thalys trains operate from Brussel-Zuid (Bruxelles-Midi in French) to Amsterdam Centraal. Journey time is about 1h45. Booking in advance is strongly recommended, tickets go on sale three months before depearture date and the cheapest fares sell out first. If staying near Brussel-Centraal you can use your Thalys ticket on a local train to Brussel-Zuid to connect with your Thalys train for no extra charge.
There is currently an alternative, but one whose future is uncertain. InterCity trains run hourly between Brussel-Zuid, Brussel-Centraal and Amsterdam-Centraal. They take longer - about 2h45 - but do not require advance booking and reservation, so could be useful if you decide to do a short-notice trip and the Thalys fares are very high. There is a €7 surcharge transaction if you buy the tickets at the station; this can be avoided by buying online.
€7 administrative fee is for buying THALYS (or other high-speed international train) tickets at the station: for IC it's €3.50. Either can be avoided by purchasing online e.g. from SNCB : www.b-europe.com/Travel
OK thanks for the clarification qaminari.
Do you know if anything has been decided about the future of the IC services?
Your answer was very useful to me too! I will be staying close to Brussel Centraal but arriving and departing from Bruxelles Midi via Thalys,so taking local train at not aditional cost is a plus.
Could you tell me wich local train is that,its number or name?
Thanks in advance!
What's the situation with the IC trains? I have a Netherlands-Belgium trip in December and will be doing a fair bit of train travels.
@Marcela65 - ALL trains headed south from Gare centrale call at Gare du Midi. There are too many trains to mention and none of them have names - nor do you even mention a rough TIME (or day)! If you're staying near Gare centrale you can go and look at the departure board, otherwise just go there +/- 20 minutes early and there will be several trains going to Gare du Midi during that time e.g. all those going to Ghent, Brugge and coastal destinations like De Panne and Oostende.
@sookkwan - I don't think wirewiper intended to imply that IC trains were to cease operations imminently, at the moment they are still in the international timetable so should be operating until well into 2013, and hopefully beyond even if the number is reduced.
My apologies if I misled anyone about the IC trains.
I know that there are plans to introduce additional 'Fyra' high-speed trains between Brussels and Amsterdam, and the long-term future of the IC services on this route is under review. I did not mean to imply that they were due to cease any day now.
I am sure there will be more news about the future of these services in due course, so anyone travelling to Belgium or the Netherlands in 2013 and planning to use these services should check back nearer the time.
From 9 December, 250 km/h Fyra trains will link Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam via the new high speed line, cutting Brussels-Amsterdam journey time from 2 hours 55 to 1 hour 50.
However, reservation will be compulsory for international journeys on Fyra, and fares will no longer be fixed-price. Www.fyra.com
The classic route will still be usable, but with changes at Antwerp and Roosendall, with a total journey time extended to around 3 hours 30.Edited: 11:53 am, September 22, 2012
Jeez, so much for progress - and for the petition some of us signed to keep international IC trains. Those of my colleagues who commute to Brussels using connections to Roosendaal are going to have to get up mighty early.
But thanks for the report. I hope the railway companies realise they are cutting their own throats, as IC journey time of 3h30 makes Eurolines buses (4 hrs and less than half the cost) suddenly look quite interesting!
Well, they are replacing a slow and often (in recent years) unpunctual 2h55 train with a 1h50 train with a nicer interior and hopefully better punctuality, that is still hourly and still links the same stations, other than Roosendaal itself of course.
Fares haven't been announced yet, but they'll almost certainly be far more affordable than Thalys, with 'full flex' fares allowing you to use any train and buy on the day. Fyra has been designed as a train for everyone, not just executives, they tell me.