Updated: Eurostar’s London-Amsterdam service has proved such a success that the train operator expects to operate a third and possibly even a fourth daily service from next year.
A third daily service to the Netherlands is planned to launch in June 2019, Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported today, though an announcement has not been made to UK media.
The news should not come as a complete surprise to our readers.
Back in February we reported that there were plans for a third and faster daily Dutch service even before the first service had started.
Although nothing is certain so far in advance, it’s understood the new third daily service will fill the gap between the first and last departures.
And to make the ex-London service more attractive to business people, Eurostar is expected to bring forward the departure by around one hour. It’s not necessary for departures from Holland because of the one hour time difference.
It’s unclear whether it will be a faster or slower service, but it will certainly mean more choice for travellers.
Since the service was launched last April, Eurostar claims it’s carried 130,000 passengers between London, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Dutch transport secretary Stientje van Veldhoven told Algemeen Dagblad she is enthusiastic about the plans as she wants to see “as many passengers as possible off the plane for short distances [flights] within Europe.”
This is important for Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport which is getting ever more congested, with slots difficult to obtain at peak times – more on which in our forthcoming Air-Rail feature in the December 2018 issue of Business Traveller.
Right now, although Eurostar passengers can travel right through from London to Holland, it’s a different situation on return.
UK Border insists all Holland-London passengers disembark at Brussels Midi for immigration and customs clearance. This adds to the journey time as well as making it more inconvenient because a train change is needed.
Hopefully this situation will be resolved at the end of 2019. If all goes according to plan Eurostar will then seek a fifth daily service.