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I used up my inbound and outbound journey. Can I use my pass starting at the border, or at the first station after the border?

  • 19 August 2021
  • 14 replies
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Due to unfortunate circumstances, I had to interrupt my trip and used both my inbound/outbound travel days to The Netherlands.

When I want to resume my trip from my home country, I can use my Dutch subscription until the border. However, how does it work with Interrail? Can I use my pass starting at the border, or at the first station after the border? 

In other words: Do I need to buy a supplementary ticket from the last Dutch station to the first non-Dutch station? Or do the two different train cards merge seamlessly?

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Best answer by Nanja 23 August 2021, 10:18

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Userlevel 7
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Hi, if there is a border station (like Venlo or Emmerich, you can switch there. If you don't stop at a border station, you'’ll need to purchase a regular ticket from last station in the Netherlands to first station in country X.

To start or end your trip at a border station without having to use your out- or in-bound trips on that travel day, you can go to the Planner section and fill in the departure/arrival station followed by the word "border". You should see a notification saying the station was not found, along with an option to "add your journey manually". By clicking that, you can enter the name of the station + the word "border" and manually select the country (so not your country of residence, in this case, to avoid the use of the out-/in-bound). If you combine this with a regular transport card to travel in your own country, instead of regular tickets, remember you may need to check out/in at the border station.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hi, if there is a border station (like Venlo or Emmerich, you can switch there. If you don't stop at a border station, you'’ll need to purchase a regular ticket from last station in the Netherlands to first station in country X.
[...]

If you combine this with a regular transport card to travel in your own country, instead of regular tickets, remember you may need to check out/in at the border station.

A few corrections for future travellers:

  1. A Dutch network subscription is valid until the border tariff point (this is the case in most countries), so you need a ticket to that point, but not any further, since your Interrail will be valid from that same point. The way you do that is by buying a ticket to a stop of your international train and indicating you have 100% reduction in that country. It may be cheaper in some cases though to buy a Sparpreis type of ticket until the first station in Germany, for example.
  2. The basic rule for international travel from/to the Netherlands is that you do not check in or our anywhere. This is also true for this case, where a network subscription and Interrail are available. I'm not sure if the mobile Interrail barcode would let you through the gates (where there are any) if you have added a manual journey from the border tariff point; if not, then ask the staff or push the blue “i” button on the poles that can be found near each row of gates and explain that you have an international ticket but that the gates won't open. A gate will then be opened remotely. This always works and also quite fast. In any case, don't use your chipcard to open a gate when you're making an international journey.
    Also see the NSI page about this topic.

Hi, if there is a border station (like Venlo or Emmerich, you can switch there. If you don't stop at a border station, you'’ll need to purchase a regular ticket from last station in the Netherlands to first station in country X.
[...]

If you combine this with a regular transport card to travel in your own country, instead of regular tickets, remember you may need to check out/in at the border station.

A few corrections for future travellers:

  1. A Dutch network subscription is valid until the border tariff point (this is the case in most countries), so you need a ticket to that point, but not any further, since your Interrail will be valid from that same point. The way you do that is by buying a ticket to a stop of your international train and indicating you have 100% reduction in that country. It may be cheaper in some cases though to buy a Sparpreis type of ticket until the first station in Germany, for example.
  2. The basic rule for international travel from/to the Netherlands is that you do not check in or our anywhere. This is also true for this case, where a network subscription and Interrail are available. I'm not sure if the mobile Interrail barcode would let you through the gates (where there are any) if you have added a manual journey from the border tariff point; if not, then ask the staff or push the blue “i” button on the poles that can be found near each row of gates and explain that you have an international ticket but that the gates won't open. A gate will then be opened remotely. This always works and also quite fast. In any case, don't use your chipcard to open a gate when you're making an international journey.
    Also see the NSI page about this topic.

Thanks for your reply, I have one more small question. If I take a train from Amsterdam to a border station like breda or venlo, is it possible to use the interrail pass from venlo to Germany?

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Thanks for your reply, I have one more small question. If I take a train from Amsterdam to a border station like breda or venlo, is it possible to use the interrail pass from venlo to Germany?

If you have no inbound or outbound journeys left, then Interrail can be used from the border tariff points. For trains to/from the Netherlands, these border tariff points are not in a station. They are virtual “stations" where the train does not stop and that only exist for tariff reasons. For the Netherlands, they are: Weener(Gr), Gronau(Westf)(Gr), Bad Bentheim(Gr), Emmerich(Gr), Venlo(Gr), Herzogenrath(Gr), Visé(fr), Hazeldonk(gr) and Roosendaal(gr). Note that the (Gr)/(gr)/(fr) is essential. You need an extra ticket from/to those points.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

However, in practice its extremely difficult to even be able to buy such a ticket nowadays-can only be done via NS-INTern. and they charge at least 7,50 extra fee for the ´service.

The rule is mostly aimed at people who hold one of the many cheaper subscriptions in NL-you did not tell if you also have that and if yes, what kind.

The CHIPCard subscriptions can now be used till over border in DE till Leer (also on direct bus from Groningen), Gronau (from Enchede, Aachen (from Heerlen). Its free/included on them.

ON all other lines into DE are local Verbunds tariff systems that make buying single ticket till border very difficult-its often easier and not much more expensive to buy till first stop over.

Your choice basically boils down to: if you want the fast trains-then cough up more, or if you have plenty of time and can use local trains-then its cheapest to go via these points and change onward.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

However, in practice its extremely difficult to even be able to buy such a ticket nowadays-can only be done via NS-INTern. and they charge at least 7,50 extra fee for the ´service.

The NSI website doesn't.

Hello,

I have the same problem leaving from Geneva. I’ve used my inbound/outbound tickets and now I want to travel to France starting from the border station of Geneva but the system is not allowing me to do it. Is there a possibility or am I obliged to buy regular ticket Geneva to Bellegarde?

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

I have the same problem leaving from Geneva. I’ve used my inbound/outbound tickets and now I want to travel to France starting from the border station of Geneva but the system is not allowing me to do it. Is there a possibility or am I obliged to buy regular ticket Geneva to Bellegarde?

Please see my reply here:

 

Hi, if there is a border station (like Venlo or Emmerich, you can switch there. If you don't stop at a border station, you'’ll need to purchase a regular ticket from last station in the Netherlands to first station in country X.

To start or end your trip at a border station without having to use your out- or in-bound trips on that travel day, you can go to the Planner section and fill in the departure/arrival station followed by the word "border". You should see a notification saying the station was not found, along with an option to "add your journey manually". By clicking that, you can enter the name of the station + the word "border" and manually select the country (so not your country of residence, in this case, to avoid the use of the out-/in-bound). If you combine this with a regular transport card to travel in your own country, instead of regular tickets, remember you may need to check out/in at the border station.

Does the QR still work though? Let's say if I put station name Amsterdam but I put the country in Germany to avoid the outbound/inbound. Will I still able to check in/out in Amsterdam? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

To start or end your trip at a border station without having to use your out- or in-bound trips on that travel day, you can go to the Planner section and fill in the departure/arrival station followed by the word "border". You should see a notification saying the station was not found, along with an option to "add your journey manually". By clicking that, you can enter the name of the station + the word "border" and manually select the country (so not your country of residence, in this case, to avoid the use of the out-/in-bound). If you combine this with a regular transport card to travel in your own country, instead of regular tickets, remember you may need to check out/in at the border station.

Does the QR still work though? Let's say if I put station name Amsterdam but I put the country in Germany to avoid the outbound/inbound. Will I still able to check in/out in Amsterdam? 

Not sure. In addition, you shouldn't put Amsterdam in Germany. If you're using another ticket for the Dutch part of the journey, then you should enter the border tariff point, e.g. "Emmerich(Gr)”, with country Germany.

You can always get through the gates in the Netherlands, by the way, when you push the blue “i” button on the poles that can be found near each row of gates and explain that you have an international ticket but that the gates won't open. A gate will then be opened remotely no questions asked.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Does the QR still work though? Let's say if I put station name Amsterdam but I put the country in Germany to avoid the outbound/inbound. Will I still able to check in/out in Amsterdam? 

You risk a fine if you try to manipulate the system in that way. You might also be reported to Eurail so that they can cancel your pass.

To start or end your trip at a border station without having to use your out- or in-bound trips on that travel day, you can go to the Planner section and fill in the departure/arrival station followed by the word "border". You should see a notification saying the station was not found, along with an option to "add your journey manually". By clicking that, you can enter the name of the station + the word "border" and manually select the country (so not your country of residence, in this case, to avoid the use of the out-/in-bound). If you combine this with a regular transport card to travel in your own country, instead of regular tickets, remember you may need to check out/in at the border station.

Does the QR still work though? Let's say if I put station name Amsterdam but I put the country in Germany to avoid the outbound/inbound. Will I still able to check in/out in Amsterdam? 

Not sure. In addition, you shouldn't put Amsterdam in Germany. If you're using another ticket for the Dutch part of the journey, then you should enter the border tariff point, e.g. "Emmerich(Gr)”, with country Germany.

You can always get through the gates in the Netherlands, by the way, when you push the blue “i” button on the poles that can be found near each row of gates and explain that you have an international ticket but that the gates won't open. A gate will then be opened remotely no questions asked.

What's the blue "i” button that you mean?

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

It is the info button. After you press it someone from the staff will sooner or later help you.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Mostly beside the wider gate aimed for handicapped etc people.

Depending on the actual route out of NL and what type of subscription you hold (I have DalVrij=unlimited off-peak travel and currently a 3-month pass making many short trips af about 1 week):I travel on chip with checkIN+OUT off peak-till last stop where I change or where train stands long time anyway (Breda). But have a paper pass so that its much easier to jot down the names of stops/points.

Note that if you do not have an unlim subscription in NL or have to pay lower off-peak fare: you MUST then also buy a ticket, on paper or fone, via NS-international. BUT-as also said before but seemingly ununderstandable for many: esp. going to DE it may often be cheaper to book via DB a Sparpreis cheap ticket to the actual 1st stop in DE. That is because of lower advance fares vs normal high on the day fares.

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