I have here a ticket purchased from Eurostar, from Rotterdam Centraal to London via Brussels.

For the sections referring to each segment, it says "Your ticket gate closes 30 minutes before departure". This includes the Thalys Rotterdam to Brussels Midi segment.

I'm pretty sure they don't actually have ticket gates at Rotterdam Centraal... what does this actually mean?

I'm guessing it really only applies to the Eurostar portions of the journey.

4 Answers 4


Currently there is no direct Eurostar from Rotterdam to London. You need to get off the train and go through security at Brussels, so I suspect that's what the 30 minutes is referring to. Boarding at Rotterdam shouldn't cost any significant amount of time. There is no luggage screening or anything like that, you just need to scan you ticket's bar code at one of the the station's entry gates.

The reason is that there are no check-in facilities at any of the Eurostar stations in The Netherlands yet. There is a direct train when you return from London to Rotterdam, because you've already cleared security in the UK.

Seat 61 has more detailed information.


I can confirm that despite the misleading wording on the ticket, there is no "gate" at Rotterdam, and the only notable step required was to scan in the ticket before boarding.

So, as of February 2019, there no need to present oneself 30 minutes in advance.

Should plans come to fruition, Eurostar boarding may in the future be possible at Rotterdam. Until then, and while the journey involves a separate Thalys train to Brussels, this is not the case.


Yes, the text appears to be boilerplate added to each part of the ticket. In Rotterdam, Thalys works like a regular train, there is no special check of any kind, whether luggage inspection or check-in procedure and no gate blocking access to the train. Unlike some other stations, you won't even find an attendant at each door of the train.

  • Although I see what you meant by "no gate blocking access to the train", there in fact are ordinary ticket barriers blocking access to all the platforms. But yes, you can certainly pass those even later than 30 minutes before departure.
    – TooTea
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 13:22
  • @TooTea They don't block access to the train or platform (as you might find, e.g., in Paris) but to the whole station.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 19:25

IIRC, Rotterdam has a 'gate' but it's right at the platform so you still should show up at 30 min there as well. It might just be screening, not ticket checks.

Eurostar only processes tickets for one train at a time and during a certain window so yes, you need to be at least be in line at 30 min.

Eurostar has such hard requirements due to the significantly more complicated check-in process. Since the trains boards much faster then an airplane, Eurostar needs you checked in, through Immigration, through screening and in the departure hall well before the actual boarding time of the train.

Rotterdam-Brussels is just a domestic train ride. No Immigration controls unless they're doing spot checks.

  • 2
    Can you clarify in your answer when you're speaking of Eurostar boarding and when you're referring to Thalys boarding? Are there border controls, screening and departure halls at Rotterdam for Thalys trains to Brussels? Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 22:45
  • Your recollection is inaccurate. There is no gate on the platform and no screening or ticket check of any kind before boarding Thalys in Rotterdam.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 12:48
  • @Relaxed Sure, but aren't there mags somewhere? Maybe it was just a red flag day.
    – DTRT
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 13:03
  • Nope, there's absolutely no security or other manned infrastructure at Rotterdam Centraal.
    – TooTea
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 13:23
  • Thinking about it, there are a couple of gates at the platform level if you are coming directly from the restaurant/toilet area on one end of the platform (instead of the main entrance). Those are gates similar to the regular pay-as-you-go OV-chipkaart gates controlling access to the station downstairs. Maybe those are the gates you recall?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 19:28

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