Eurostar to finally launch direct Amsterdam-London train in April

Eurostar is finally launching a direct service from Amsterdam to London.

The train operator started running non-stop services from the UK capital to the Netherlands in 2018, but red tape at the border stopped passengers travelling back the same way.

Passengers were forced to take a Thalys train to Brussels Midi and change there, going through security and passport control before boarding the Eurostar to London.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

However, a new Eurostar building has been erected at Amsterdam Centraal station, meaning that passengers will be able to go through all the checks there before boarding a direct service stopping at Rotterdam, Brussels, Lille and London St Pancras.

Although a few test and preview trains have made the journey, it will not officially launch to paying customers until 30 April 2020.

The same service from Rotterdam will be offered from 18 May.

Tickets for the direct route are available to book from 11 February, costing from £35 one way.

The journey time is scheduled to take 4hr and 9m and initially two trains will run most days: one in the morning, departing at 7.48am and arriving at 10.57am, and one in the evening, departing at 6.48pm and arriving at 9.57pm.

Both trains will run Monday to Friday, while on Saturdays only the morning service will run and on Sundays only the evening service will operate.

The plan is to expand to three daily services and, eventually, four.

According to Eurostar chief executive Mike Cooper, the direct train will offer a competitive alternative to air travel.

“It’s a huge market, 4.3 million air market at the moment,” he said. “What’s interesting is that there’s a precise parallel to when we started Paris back in 1994, it was the same size air market, and look what’s developed since. 

”We think it’s going to be a hugely credible alternative to flying and a sustainable alternative to flying as well.“

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re continuing to invest in modern, efficient transport links with the continent so our businesses and tourism industry can flourish.

“The days of passengers being forced to decamp from the train at Brussels to file through passport control will soon be over, as we look forward to direct, return, high-speed services to Amsterdam and beyond.”

It follows an uptick in passengers travelling by train in the Netherlands.

According to new figures from Dutch railway company NS, it sold 13 per cent more tickets for international trains in December 2019 year-on-year, totalling four million passengers, reports Dutch News.


Source: Read Full Article