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Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

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Toronto
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Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

I'm able to purchase Thalys tickets for our date now but before I purchase I'm wondering about connection times. Does it make more sense to do a direct IC train from Brugge to Antwerpen Central with an hour till the Thalys train departs or plan to take a Brugge to Gent to Antwerp (2 IC trains) with 20 minutes till Thalys connection. Are the connections usually on time and the 2 IC trains no hassle? It will determine which Thalys train I book. Thank you.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

Nobody can say whether trains will be on time but 20 mins should be enough to change to Thalys in Antwerp.

However, while IC route always requires changing in Antwerp, buying a through-ticket on Thalys (ABS conditions, covering starting in Brugge) requires travel via BRUSSELS! Using www.b-europe.com/Travel (Belgian Railways, international section), entering Brugge as departure station and Amsterdam-Centraal as arrival station, you get both IC and Thalys options but ALL of the latter require changing at Bruxelles-Midi, not Antwerpen-Centraal. So if you really want to go via Antwerp, you would have to book Thalys from there and not buy ABS ticket from Brugge.

At Bruxelles-Midi also, 15-20 mins should be fine for changing from IC to Thalys (Thalys trains use platforms 3-6) although it is always nice to have a few minutes extra in case of delays.

Edited: 9:05 am, February 18, 2013
Toronto
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2. Re: Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

Wow now I am confused. On b Europe I entered Brugge to Amsterdam and it gave me ABS with connections in Antwerp but it was only 5 minutes so I looked at the timetables realizing I would need more time for the Thalys transfer. My return ticket already purchased from Amsterdam to Gent is an ABS with connections in Antwerp suggested as well. Have I totally misunderstood this ABS option?

Nashville, TN
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3. Re: Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

Have never used the ABS option so can't assist there. However for the IC portion of your trip, you can catch any IC running that day as long as it gets you to Antwerp in time to catch your scheduled Thalys departure. Unlike the Thalys, there are no reserved seats on the IC.

Brussels, Belgium
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4. Re: Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

No, if b-europe offered this route on the date/time you selected, it must be available: it's just that at the date I looked at (this week), every single selection involving Thalys was via Brussels - which is usually faster because the longer journey from Brussels to Amsterdam is offset by the shorter journey from Brugge to Brussels (than to Antwerp) and the fact that Thalys is high-speed from there. Of course I don't know what dates you are looking at, so perhaps this changes with Spring timetable - or could be Sat/Sun, as I was looking at a weekday.

You are right that even if trains are on time, 5 minutes is too short for transfer, whether in Antwerp or Brussels, but particularly at Antwerp because the station is on several different levels. And especially if you have to check the departure board/monitors to see which platform to go to (although you can find this out in advance using the Railtime site, http://www.railtime.be/website/train-schedule).

Toronto
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5. Re: Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

Okay that makes better sense. Yes it is a Saturday May 18th which has just been made available for booking. Its just easier paying for everything beforehand to save time trying to find things. Thank you for the tip regarding the rail time site. I think I will just take an earlier train to Antwerp it will give me an hour between trains but from what I have read its a beautiful station. Thank you,

6. Re: Bruges to Amsterdam Connection times

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