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Fyra High Speed Trains

Fyra High Speed Trains are offered by the operations of the NS Hispeed operating service and the NMBS/SNCB, which start at the Amsterdam Central station.  This high speed train is the first of its kind to offer the fastest way to get from Brussels to Amsterdam and vice versa.  The name Fyra stands for pride which is derived from both the Dutch and the French word fier.  This is also representative of the Swedish word for four which will represent the four most important cities that will be served by the train system being Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Fyra History

Albeit a brief history as this is the newest high speed train system, Fyra was first developed in 2008 and is slated to be completely stocked with 16, V250 units by the end of Autumn, 2010.  This is the fastest way to travel between Amsterdam and Brussels.  This train unit operates at a speedy 250 km/h or 155 mph, making your trip from Amsterdam to Brussels in a mere 1 hour and 46 minutes which saves you an approximate 1 hour and 5 minutes compared to conventional methods of travel. 

More About The V250

The V250 also has the nickname of Albatross.  These trains are a multi-electrical train and they are operated on the Hispeed lines.  These trains are equipped with the train protection system, a standard system set forth by the standards of Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as WTCS Level 2. 

Features of Fyra High Speed Trains

Since the Fyra system and its train units are still in the infancy stages of operations, the timetables in which all operations are done are based on a shortened schedule for each cities destination for example:  the current travel time between Amsterdam and Rotterdam is 43 minutes in the early phases of this timetable and will be shortened later once all units have arrived and are operational.  Under the current timetable, each unit leaves Amsterdam once every hour. 

All current stops for the Fyra High Speed Trains include:
•    Amsterdam
•    Schiphol
•    Rotterdam
•    Breda
•    Antwerp
•    Brussels

By sometime in December of this year, there will be two trains running every hour from Amsterdam to Breda with a stop in Rotterdam and another in Schiphol making the average travel time 55 minutes which in the past has been slated at an hour and a half by conventional travel methods.  This can make a huge difference for a lot of people who have to travel this route every day, twice per day making this a lot more convenient and comfortable for those of us who would rather spend time doing the things we need to do or want to do instead of travelling to do those things. 

Other amenities offered by the Fyra include:

•    Reserved Seating
:

If you book your fare using the Super Discount Fare, reserved seating is included in the price of your ticket.  Fyra has gone above and beyond to also make sure that finding your reserved seating is easy as can be.  Each train is fixed with a certain number of carriages and each carriage has a certain number of reserved seating which is marked by definite signs on the platform.  Currently, the reserved seating are found solely on carriages number 21 and number 22.  Each carriage is numbered on the outside of the train and the seat numbers are marked by stickers above each window seat.  With this type of seating arrangement, it would be virtually impossible to get lost or confused. 
•    On-line Ticket Purchase:

If you book your ticket on-line, not only can you print out your ticket when it is convenient for you, you will also save some money because there is no fee for booking if you choose this method of purchase. 
•    On-Board Catering:

To make things more convenient and comfortable, Fyra offers the option of on-board catering with the choices of cold or hot beverages, snacks, sandwiches and other foods are offered.  This definitely will save you some time if you are in a hurry or you just did not have time to have a meal before your trip and every food or beverage offered by the on-board catering service is of high-quality and giving you the nutritional choices you may have not had otherwise. 
•    Luggage Options:

Every passenger choosing to take Fyra is allowed to take 2 large sized suit cases and one handbag which can be stored either under your seat or in the above luggage compartments.  Larger suitcases, fully folding bicycles or a child’s stroller or pushchair can be stored at the entryway between each compartment. If you do not have a folding bicycle, you are not allowed to take the bicycle on the train but because a folding bicycle can be put in a bag, it can be considered a piece of luggage and can be brought and stored free of charge.  This is especially nice for those who plan to take a bike trip at their destination without having to pay an astronomical fee just to do something that should be free in the first place and if you plan on trying to take a sight-seeing bike trip, this is something you will want to consider and plan for in advance.


•    Travelling With Pets: For pet lovers, there is good news on Fyra.  All small pets that can fit into a carrier can travel alongside of you free of charge.  For those pet owners who have pets that are too big for a pet carrier, you will be required to purchase a day ticket for dogs, which is priced at € 3.  This ticket will be a second-class ticket even if you have already purchased a first-class ticket.  Another bonus for pet owners is that Fyra offers free travel for your pet, regardless of its size, if this pet is a service animal for the blind or someone suffering from a medical condition such as seizures.  This is a nice service to have considering the fact that suffering from a medical condition is hard and expensive enough that it is nice to get that price break considering that having a service pet is not a luxury, but a necessity. 


Specific Destinations for Fyra

There are two specific ways of travel through Fyra, first-class and second-class. Both classes offer comfortable seating, trolley catering and quiet zones for those who prefer a more relaxed way of travelling experience.  The main differences between first-class and second-class seats that you will notice is the first-class seats are wider and you are also offered the sockets you need for your laptop or other mobile devices.   Additionally, if you have purchased a first-class ticket, you will have the use of the Hispeed Lounge in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Breda and Schiphol and enjoy a free beverage while you wait.  In Antwerp and Brussels-South, they will soon be offering the same first-class lounge as well. 
The price breakdown for your destination is as follows:
Rotterdam         € 10,50
Schiphol         € 8,50
Amsterdam        € 10,50
Brussels        € 25

Of course, these are the most popularly booked destinations through Fyra and the stops along the way in Breda and Antwerp are priced differently due to times of travel and discounts offered.  Once all 16 units have been rolled out and the train system is fully functional, all ticket prices will be permanently listed in order. 

Sights To See


Amsterdam:  Some of the most notable sites to visit on your tour in Amsterdam include the Amsterdam Canal Ring, which is comprised of 3 canals all lined with businesses, warehouses and residential homes that were established in the 17th century and is what most people picture in their mind when they think about Amsterdam.

Other sites to put on your agenda should include the Van Gogh Museum and Amsterdam’s Red Light District.  The Van Gogh Museum consists of over 700 pieces of Van Gogh’s artwork including his paintings and drawings along with several personal belongings of Van Gogh and other famous artists such as Monet and Gauguin.  There are certainly more colourful attractions so doing your research before you make your trip will be well worth the time.

Rotterdam:

There are so many things to do in Rotterdam that planning a visit does take some preparation and of course not everything will fit every pallet, but there is something for everyone’s pallet.  Some of the more notable hot spots in Rotterdam include the Euro mast which is where you want to go to get a view of the entire city.  This automatic lift takes you up into the air 185 metres in a matter of minutes to give you the most gorgeous view of Rotterdam.  The Meritime Museum has a massive collection of large ships and navigational instruments marking all of Holland’s extremely rich naval traditions.

The Spido is a really interesting way for the entire family to experience all of the incredible aquatic sites of Rotterdam.  You literally get to experience all of the life within the waters of this incredible city.  Rotterdam is also home the Zoo Blidjorp.  As you can imagine, this zoo’s wildlife setting makes this a prime are for all occasions like birthdays, receptions, meetings and family gatherings.  As previously stated, Rotterdam has something for every one of all ages and pallets.


Brussels: Without a doubt, Brussels has a huge amount of diverse interests and experiences to be had by all.  Some of the most notable places to visit while in Brussels include Grand Place, Town Hall, Manneken Pis, Galeries St. Hubert, Mont Des Arts.
Whatever your plans are or reasons for travel Fyre will get you there in style, comfort and convenience.  With everything that you can imagine to be offered as a service along a fast railway, to great customer service experience Fyre is the only way to go.  It’s not always about getting there fast, but it sure doesn’t hurt to cut down on travel time so that you can spend the majority of your trip going and doing instead of travelling.

As far as railways go, Fyre seems to have figured out the best way to offer services that standard railway services do not offer at a fair and reasonable fare not to mention the lengths at which they have gone to be accommodating to passengers that have not been able to travel due to personal physical limitations. 
Two more notable mentions are for the customers travelling with Fyre who use off-peak discount passes or other NS passes, is that their passes are always good and honoured by Fyre.  You are also able to purchase a frequent travellers route subscription and get even more additional savings and discounts. 
Fyra will soon be offering a text messaging service that will give its travellers the option of having all of the travelling information they choose to sign up for, automatically text to their phone when they make a purchase of a fare or need delay information or weather information for travel.  This is a very good service to offer since most people have a cell phone and have ready access to it, but not everyone has ready access to a computer and do not always have the luxury of being able to log-on to the internet to check these things at a moment’s notice.


Since its inception in 2007, when NS International became NS HiSpeed, the rail operator for Fyra, has strived to increase a faster, more friendly and affordable service for its passengers while not compromising safety, comfort and quality.  Anyone who is travelling for business, pleasure or just touring the sites of a foreign land, Fyra is going to be what you will want to rely on for the bulk of your transportation to any one of these destinations.

There is no doubt that you will be pleased with all of the services they offer and it also helps put your mind at ease because we all know that travelling can not only sometimes be exhausting but stressful as well.  So the next time you plan on going to any number of these destinations, save yourself the headache and just plan on including Fyra as your one stop travel service.

 

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Drink only mineral / bottled water. Carry an umbrella & a torch with you. Take some common medicines you use at your home. Carry a small dictionary of languages. Share your experience & upload your photos daily to keep memories fresh.
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