Unless the timetable isn't yet available (and looking on www.b-europe.com/Travel for Bruxelles-Midi to Amsterdam-Centraal on Sunday 30 April, it is!), I can see no reason why you can't book Thalys for the end of April, just because of the work between Bruxelles-Midi and Bruxelles-Nord stations between 29 April and 1 May. Thalys will still be running from Gare du Midi (see https://www.b-europe.com/Travel/Practical/Alerts), even if having to detour around Brussels, and therefore no doubt taking longer than the usual 1h50.
The problem is more getting into Brussels to take it, because the airport train will be stopping at Gare du Nord, from which there will be a shuttle train to Gare du Midi taking a lot longer than the normal route through the city centre. In addition, while Thalys is cheaper buying tickets up to 3 months in advance, it is always dangerous to book for a specific departure when flights can be delayed and, in this case, it is impossible to say exactly how long it might take you to get from the airport to Gare du Midi: I would allow up to 1 hr for the trip instead of the usual 23 minutes or so.
In any case, given the delay involved in getting to the Thalys, it would be easier and probably faster (and cheaper, at least compared with buying Thalys ticket on the day), to take the Brussels-Amsterdam IC train (which normally takes 3 hours) that will be diverted via the airport. You could also take a normal IC train from Brussels Airport to Antwerp (32 mins) and change to Thalys there (1h12 to Amsterdam).
As I'm sure you must know from other transport contexts, fastest and cheapest are rarely the same. And while it would certainly be cheaper to take one of the De Lijn buses from the airport to Gare du Nord (€3, about 40 mins) and then an international bus to Amsterdam, of course this takes longer (up to 4 hrs) than any train between the 2 cities. In addition, Eurolines (www.eurolines.be) goes to Amsterdam-Duivendrecht and Flixbus (which now includes Megabus) to Amsterdam-Sloterdijk, so you would have to continue by metro if heading for somewhere near Amsterdam-Centraal station.Edited: 6:40 pm, February 15, 2017
+1 for taking the InterCity service direct from Brussels Airport to Amsterdam. This service is non-reservable so it won;t even matter if you miss the one you planned to catch, your ticket will be valid on any train that day.
Bus - interesting ride - er - well I suppose it could be if it turns up several hours late (or not at all), or is overbooked. But if you are expecting a scenic journey - forget it.
Thanks for the replies!
Bus is out of the question! The flight is 4.5 hours long I want the less troublesome way to reach our destination.
So,the main train services that go directly to Amsterdam are Thalys and IC train. I will have to choose between those. Are they on time?
My travel dates are still flexible so I will probably avoid the end of April time
If you want to travel "directly to Amsterdam" from Brussels Airport, there is only ONE choice, which is the IC train (2h55 from BRU to Amsterdam-Centraal). For Thalys, you would have to go into Brussels first, which means changing trains (at Bruxelles-Midi): which means, this is obviously not "direct" from the airport.
As for "are they on time." - yes, more-or-less: why would you immediately suspect the timetable of being fictitious? And if by any chance yours isn't (on time), it will be because of a problem that neither we nor the train operator can predict for the time/ date/ service concerned.
Ok it's clear now thanks!
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