Photo: (c) NS / Quintus Vosman

The NS has ordered eighteen new trainsets from Alstom for the intercity to Brussels. This allows the railway company to use more modern and much longer trains on this cross-border connection.

It concerns so-called ICNG-B-sets (Intercity New Generation - Belgium) that can run on both Dutch and Belgian railways. They will replace the current IC Brussels trains in 2025, which consist of a locomotive with seven carriages.

Because the NS has previously ordered a test set of two of these ICNG-B's for the Benelux train, as IC Brussels is often called, a total of twenty new sets will become available for the connection.

"This number is necessary in order to be able to drive two trainsets in coupled operation and so to be able to accommodate the passenger growth," a spokeswoman for the Dutch Railways tells this site.

It concerns eight-part single-decker trains of 165 meters long, so that a train of 330 meters can be formed in combination. The current IC-Brussels trains, excluding the locomotives, are only about 185 meters long.

The IC Brussels offers a direct connection between Schiphol and Brussels Airport. The new trainsets can reach 200 kilometers per hour and need to be considerably more reliable, making the train a more interesting alternative to the aircraft.

The ICNG-B's are largely the same as the trains from the previous order for 79 ICNG trainsets for domestic use. The first examples have now been built and are extensively tested, so that they can ride on the HSL from 2021.

“The ICNG-B has a number of characteristics of its own compared to ICNG for domestic transport. These are technical adjustments (in particular 3kV overhead line voltage and Belgian security). But also more luggage space and an extra toilet, "said the spokeswoman.

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