The Netherlands can be easily navigated and with direct international connections to many places including Brussels, Berlin, Munich & Zurich.
Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) operate the national rail service, throughout the Netherlands; also offering many cross border trains into neighbouring countries as well as an excellent service to/from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. You can plan your NS travel online but the NS website doesn’t offer any downloadable timetables.
A comprehensive list of both passenger and freight operators in the Netherlands can be found on the helpful Railfaneurope website’s Netherlands page.
Train times and Tickets
Booking tickets for travel within the Netherlands can be done at most NS stations but only major ones have proper booking offices, NS are now using self service ticket machines at more and more locations. NS now also uses the OV chipkaart which is a public transport smart card valid throughout the country on trains, buses & tram. If you only require reservations for either Interrail, Eurail or railway staff passes then this can be done via phone to the DB office in London.
If choosing to use an Interrail pass, either for just within the Netherlands, or to pass through the Netherlands, all the relevant details on the passes, including the different types/lengths of validity available, can be found on the InterRail website.
For those travelling from outside Europe then the Eurail Pass is your ticket to Europe, details of which can be found on EU Rails’ website.
Finally travel in Europe can be made a lot simpler by using the very, very, helpful smartphone app courtesy of Eurail. This app is available both online and offline and is always up to date (well it has been for the countries I’ve used it in; including for any planned engineering works); for me it was an essential part of my travel in Europe. This app is linked to the Hafas system, which countries like Germany, Austria & Switzerland use for their train planning online tool. Eurail has done what the individual countries haven’t though and made it available offline.
For the Rail Enthusiast
A comprehensive list of Netherlands Locomotives by their respective railway system can be found on the Railfaneurope website’s Netherlands page. This also explains a bit about the various operators of the network and how they have amalgamated over the years.
A detailed map/atlas of the Benelux Railway Systems, which includes the Netherlands, is available from European Railway Atlas.