9

Background:

  1. First time in The Netherlands, I am going to study at Delft.
  2. My accommodation is located on Schiedam, just around the Schiedam Centrum, so I plan to journey with train from Schiphol Airport.
  3. I plan to bring one large suitcase, one small suitcase and a small-medium backpack.
  4. In addition to the baggage, I plan to bring along some used electronics (24" monitor + a printer). Probably in their original carton box package.

Note:

(#1 The uni provides free shuttle bus from Schiphol to Delft Campus, they will have a welcome session of some sort, but considering my luggage and the fact it's still quite far from Delft to Schiedam, I plan to leave my luggage in my Schiedam first before attending the welcome session).

(#4 I plan to hand carry them since the shipping cost would be higher than buying new ones in Netherlands, but I'm still mulling over it)

Question:

Would travelling with those luggage using train be possible?

After a bit if internet research and asking around it seems I should take the Intercity train from Schiphol to Schiedam (source: 9292.nl/en/journeyadvice/station-schiphol/station-schiedam-centrum/departure/2015-08-08T0846)

The problems I foresaw:

  1. These intercity trains do not have special luggage compartment. I have to hand carry all of my luggage during around 30-40 minutes journey.
  2. Overhead luggage racks are there, but they're small, I wouldn't be able fit my luggage.
  3. I will be traveling at 9-10 AM on Monday, standing near the door with my luggage is okay but I am not sure if it's a good idea to travel with that much of luggage while it's near peak hours (crowded. That might disturb other passenger).

I am looking for inputs (especially from the Dutch people), please tell me if I miss something important. :)

Thanks!

EDIT: See comments below.

  • 2
    Doesn't the university provide transport from the airport for you when you arrive? – InFlightEntertainment Aug 8 '15 at 12:51
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    Uh-oh, you are correct! I have just realized I misread the announcement from the uni, they are providing shuttle services from airport straight to the accommodation (I used to think it's from airport to campus). I feel kinda bad for asking this question around, but is it okay to leave the question as is? in case someone faced similar situation. – Arya S. Aug 8 '15 at 13:24
  • 1
    Definitely, leave it up. Somebody is bound to arrive outside the shuttle bus times :) – InFlightEntertainment Aug 8 '15 at 13:26
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    Regarding the monitor - I would advise against carrying it (if you must, you can bundle it in your suitcase by surrounding it with t-shirts). The reason is [a] its a bulky item [b] the cost is always dropping, so unless its a special kind of monitor (ie, one with very high refresh rates or with hardware color calibration) it will be easier and more practical to buy it in Netherlands (you can buy them used if you can). Same for the printer; at the university I am sure you can print things at the library during the beginning. – Burhan Khalid Aug 8 '15 at 13:31
  • @BurhanKhalid I agree with your point, I have been seriously mulling over buying a used one in The Netherlands, nothing special with the monitor except it has 16:10 ratio which is getting hard to get these days. The main justification to bring them along is because they would become a dust collector in my old room (no one will use them). I'll weight the pros and cons further. I probably will just sell them or give them away to relatives. – Arya S. Aug 8 '15 at 13:41
8

I checked the NS site and the rules are easy to find, in Dutch. The best I can find in English is this, a link to a PDF file in which I can not find the needed information.

Zorg dat uw bagage andere reizigers niet hindert. Plaats bagage in de daarvoor bestemde rekken of onder uw stoel. In de Intercity direct kunt u kosteloos 3 stuks handbagage meenemen, waarvan de grootste afmeting niet meer mag zijn dan 85 cm.

Translation by me, so not official: "Take care your luggage is not discomfiting the other passenger. Put luggage in the luggage racks or under your seat. In the 'Intercity Direct' (high speed train) you can take 3 pieces of hand luggage of which the biggest size may not be bigger than 85 cm."

Your standard pieces of luggage are within the limits, but the extra boxes are over the limits, but that does not matter as you are not likely to travel with the high speed train. I would still suggest not to travel with more than three pieces, as you will not have help getting on and off the train. One way would be to combine the smaller pieces into one item with a cheap huge bag or by tying or taping them together. I have never seen train staff stop someone getting onto a train or tell them to get off, but it is possible, even when there is no official limits to luggage.

Trains are very busy just after 9 AM on weekdays, due to the reduction fare starting at 9 AM, but not as crowded as during the peak time and if you stay in the 'wheelchair' or 'bike' area, unless there is a wheelchair or bike, you will not bother other passengers too much.
If you are willing to miss one train if very busy (you should be able to get the next in 30 minutes) I think you can take the risk.

A Dutch double decker train with the 'bike' sign on the door and the bike area prominent in the photo.

Photo of an Intercity double decker train of a kind you might find for your journey. You can just see the bike sign on the door and the one level area next to it.
Photo by Willeke, it can be used under the CC rules.

I am just a regular user of the Dutch railways, I do not work for them, so it is my interpretation of the rules as online and as they seem to be for passengers.

  • Thank you for your answer, it's very detailed, I did not expect you would take a picture. The translation of the rules are especially helpful as I cannot find definite answer while exploring NS website. I will upvote once I get the privilege :) – Arya S. Aug 8 '15 at 9:05
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    Note that the very specific size limits are only for the special Intercity Direct train between Amsterdam and Rotterdam - which also has an extra fare on top of the normal ticket. So if you travel via normal trains (Sprinter or Intercity) the rules are less strict. Especially if you take place in the hallways near the doors, there is often space enough to "not discomfort other passengers". – Lode Aug 8 '15 at 10:51
  • I'm sorry Willeke, it is. I think you misread / mistranslated the Dutch text. In the Dutch text it clearly says "Intercity Direct", not just "Intercity". – Lode Aug 8 '15 at 19:28
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    @AryaS. on an additional note, If I understand you right, then you'll be moving this / next week? If so, the trains wouldn't be that crowded due to vacation, so you'll have some space to battle your luggage. – Mathlight Aug 8 '15 at 21:15
3

As you imply that your airline is ok with the luggage you're bringing in to the country, it's pretty safe to assume the NS (Dutch railways) will also be ok with it. In addition, it appears you will be able to carry all your luggage yourself. Unless you carry, like, an inflatable and inflated swimming pool, you should be ok.

It will be busy during your scheduled arrival time, so, if you really have a lot of luggage, you might want to wait an hour or two at Schiphol and take a later train.

If you still worry about the amount of luggage you have, or will have issues carrying it around, you should consider taking a cab. It won't be cheap (perhaps the going rate is around 100 euros now), but the service will get you straight to your door in Schiedam.

Also, behaviour on the Dutch roads is comparatively mellow. Renting a car would be possible. You could get your stuff to Schiedam, drive the car back to Schiphol, and then take a train, probably for less than the cost of a taxi ride.

(Also, greetings from a Delft alumnus :)

  • My problem has essentially been solved (Edited the question). Renting a car/hailing a cabs would be would be somewhat too expensive I guess, you see student's budget ;) anyway, thanks a bunch for your inputs! :) Cheers – Arya S. Aug 8 '15 at 13:33

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