"A nightmare by train" Netherlands Favorite Tip by sabsi

Netherlands General: 435 reviews and 419 photos

  Routes I took/wanted to take
by sabsi

Favorite thing: My boyfriend Colm worked and lived in Amsterdam in spring and summer 2001. The first time I went there to visit him for a long weekend (Queensday weekend) I wanted to take the direct train from Hannover to Amsterdam Schiphol (4 hours and a bit).
Unfortunately Dutch rail was on <b>strike</b> that week and suddenly - 1 minute before the train departed from Hannover - the sign at Hannover railway station platform 9 changed from 'Destination Schiphol' to 'Destination Bad Bentheim' (German/Dutch border town). As there was not enough time to ask anyone (who? There was NOONE on the platform) whether it would be clever to take an ICE train instead and change in Duisburg I got on the train and thought I'd go to Bad Bentheim and see then. I called Colm in work so that he could try to find out more in Holland, I thought I could cross the border somehow and get a train from Hengelo maybe. (If you are confused because of all the placenames already you might want to click on the map I made?!?!)

I was getting nervous. Noone ever checked my ticket and I had planned to ask how my chances are. I called Colm again. Things weren't looking good. Shortly before Osnabrück (1 1/2 hours from Hannover) people around me realised that I was on my way to Amsterdam. They said that before the train had stopped in Hannover there was an announcement in the train that people should get off and take the ICE to Duisburg instead. Hmmmm. I told ya that I had the same idea eh?

Fondest memory: Anyway, I decided to get off in Osnabrück and head south west towards Duisburg somehow to catch the ICE train to Amsterdam from there. Luckily there were lots of people and a huge chaos here so everyone tried to help. My new connection was Osnabrück - Münster - Duisburg - Amsterdam. I just needed a little luck because the train to Münster was late and I had to catch the connecting train to Duisburg from here so that I get to Amsterdam only an hour delayed. People promised me that they would call Münster station so that the train would wait for me. Which it did! Until the train I was in entered the platform - it started to move as soon as we stopped. Thanks very much! I was lost! The third railway station in 4 hours and I was still closer to home than to Amsterdam!!!

I only had one more chance. To wait here for an hour and a half, then to go to Duisburg, wait an hour there and to take the EC to Amsterdam Centraal there - arrival 11 pm. (instead of 6.30 pm)... And that's what I did. Everything went as planned from here, of course the train to Amsterdam (which came from Switzerland ans started about the same time in Interlaken as I started in Hannover ;) was packed but fortunately I got one of the last seats - the guy opposite me came from Hannover as well. He took another route though and went via Cologne! Wha??? ;-)

Good news: I arrived in the end ;) Colm had reserved a table for the floating Chinese restaurant so that we could celebrate his birthday and our reunion. HAHA he postponed the time at least 5 times during the day... HAHAHA very nice, luckily it is next to the Central Station :) .. I arrived wrecked and thirsty, with my backpack and everything in this posh and fancy place and felt like I only want to sleep.... But I was there :-) And I wouldn't have to get on a train for five days :) But I did... everything went well :)

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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