Eurostar’s through London-Amsterdam service is not yet launched. But already the rail operator is taking to Dutch Railways (NS) about a new and much faster service in 2019.
The high-speed train firm expects to launch its London-Amsterdam service this spring with a twice daily service.
Journey time (with stops in Brussels and Rotterdam) is expected to be around four hours – see our special report Dutch Departures for more details.
The Amsterdam route has elicited much interest from travellers, all of whom want to escape the modern airport experience.
The media statement is in Dutch but when translated it reveals that NS and Eurostar intend this additional and faster service to run between Amsterdam and London in three and a half hours.
It would therefore make Eurostar even more competitive with airline schedules based on city centre to city centre journey times.
What about this year’s launch? Plans are advancing. The official launch for Amsterdam remains in the spring but, as yet, Eurostar will not provide an exact date.
There have been many “test trains” running over the route while a new Eurostar terminal is under construction at Amsterdam Centraal. This terminal is located towards the rear of platform 15b.
Under Channel Tunnel rules all passengers must undergo immigration/security checks before entering the Tunnel. Building separate Amsterdam/Rotterdam terminals will avoid the need for Eurostar passengers to clear formalities at Lille (as currently happens with the Marseilles-London service).
Modifications currently underway at Rotterdam Centraal will provide a Eurostar terminal according to trade publication Railway Gazette. Its completion is planned for March 26.
Update: Will Eurostar’s Amsterdam launch be postponed?
A piece in Dutchnews.nl appeared many hours after we had gone to press (quoted by one of readers in comments below)..
However the official line from Eurostar remains unchanged. The train firm says that it is in discussions with the Dutch and Belgian authorities for scheduled launch this coming Spring.
Perhaps until the security/immigration arrangements are finalised the Amsterdam-London service will make an en route stop (in Brussels maybe) for passengers to clear formalities.
In which case, although the Amsterdam-London journey time will be extended the London-Amsterdam schedule should remain unchanged (as travellers already clear formalities on departure at St Pancras).
Speaking with Business Traveller, at the launch of its latest Tread Lightly campaign, CEO Nicola Petrovic said,
“It is going to happen, but it’s the last stretch and we are talking to the governments, and we will make an announcement very soon. The trains have been certified, and now we need the governments to agree what is happening at passport controls and of course they can choose when they make their decisions, but I am optimistic.”