I purchased an e-ticket for two people from DB Bahn via a travel agency. We are travelling through two Dutch train stations. I know I have to scan it in at these stations. Since the ticket is for two people - do I scan it in twice? Or do we both go through on the same ticket?

  • If needed, there should be special "pass-through" cards available on the dutch side at the informtion booth with barcodes to allow you to pass through the gates. Not sure if you actually need those, though, so this is not an answer.
    – DCTLib
    Aug 9, 2018 at 10:07
  • Obviously I don’t know which train stations you will be traveling through so I don’t know if it applies, but most stations in major cities have personnel standing at the gates to help with this. If you show them your ticket they will probably open the gates for you.
    – 11684
    Aug 9, 2018 at 15:03
  • 7
    I have traveled many times in the Netherlands, often using main stations, and hardly ever see any staff to help stuck tourists. Even in Amsterdam Centraal and Rotterdam Centraal it is rare to find staff near the gates.
    – Willeke
    Aug 9, 2018 at 15:19
  • There is, however, usually (always?) a help button that will connect you to a call centre.
    – gerrit
    Aug 9, 2018 at 17:18
  • Aren't Dutch tickets ALWAYS for two people?
    – Strawberry
    Aug 10, 2018 at 14:50

2 Answers 2


Print two copies of your e-ticket, so you can each go through independently. This may have the added advantage that if one of you visits the loo or otherwise needs to walk through the train, you can take a copy of the ticket with you. You might want to do that anyway, as the train manager may ask you to present your ticket at any time (at your seat or when walking around), although technically only one of you can carry a valid ticket as the ticket is only valid with matching id.

  • The OP mentions that the tickets were purchased from DB (German railways?). As far as I know, at least all all self-printed online tickets from DB (that's what I understand by "e-ticket"; the fact that they're bought "via a travel agency" might indicate the OP might be referring to something else, though) are linked to a unique token (e.g. a credit card with a specific number, or an ID card) precisely so you cannot use copies of the same ticket simultaneously in different places. Aug 10, 2018 at 12:50
  • @O.R.Mapper I suppose that if two people are named on an e-ticket, either persons id-card is accepted for the purposes of ticket control.
    – gerrit
    Aug 10, 2018 at 13:27
  • No, typically, only the "main traveler"'s name is printed on the ticket (and they have to take part in the journey, as they are the only ones whose ID card will be valid along with the ticket). If the ticket is for two people, it will say something like "2 travelers", without indicating any names of the other travelers. To be clear: While this seems to have changed meanwhile (the main traveler now appears to be able to show their ID card no matter what), until a year ago or so, DB even requested inputting the number of the ID card that will be used during ticket controls while booking. Aug 10, 2018 at 13:32
  • @O.R.Mapper And yet, there is also a requirement for travellers to take their ticket when they are moving through the train. It would seem this requirement implies the main traveller has to accompany the other travellers when they move through the train. Perhaps my suggestion does not follow the letter of the regulations, but I'm confident that the train manager will accept the reasonable explanation when he or she finds the secondary traveller walking through the train and the ID does not match primary traveller on multi-traveller e-ticket.
    – gerrit
    Aug 10, 2018 at 13:43
  • "And yet, there is also a requirement for travellers to take their ticket when they are moving through the train." - do you have any reference for that? Even if that is a rule on paper, my experience from many travels with DB is very consistent: 1) People walking through the train (bathroom, restaurant car, ...) will either freely be allowed to pass the train manager, or will be asked to wait until the train manager has reached the person's seat where the person's group is waiting with the tickets. And 2) an online ticket without exaclty the one identification card stated on it is like an ... Aug 10, 2018 at 13:59

Scanning printed tickets on Dutch railway stations is purely to open the gates. So if there is no gate you do not need to scan, it even says such on the Dutch (NS) self print railway tickets. Scanning the ticket will open the gate, usually long enough to walk through with two people. You can then scan the ticket on the inside of the gate (be sure you have a gate with a green arrow, not with a red cross on it). But if you prefer you can hand the ticket back over the gate to scan again for the next person. (Or as @gerrit suggest in the other answer, print two copies.)
Tickets with chips and chip cards need to be scanned every time you change rail companies as well as every time you leave and enter a station. It is, however, the chip that remembers the action and tickets without a chip do not register being scanned nor does the system remember seeing your ticket.

Remember to use the scanner (at the gates) which have a little window, not the ones with just a touch pad.

  • 2
    So, if there is an open gate, I do not have to worry about scanning in? Would this cause problems if I need to scan out at the next station? Aug 9, 2018 at 10:17
  • 4
    Indeed, you do not need to scan if the gates are open. The printed tickets nor the system remember. Only tickets with chips need to be scanned.
    – Willeke
    Aug 9, 2018 at 10:20
  • 1
    Great! Thank you so much. Cleared that right up. Have a good weekend. Aug 9, 2018 at 10:21

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