I have closely followed the fortunes of Eurostar throughout its 26 year history.
Never before have a I seen this train operator (one that’s majority owned by France’s SNCF) plan such a sparse winter timetable.
From November Eurostar will operate a fraction of its normal winter schedule.
Consider that in normal times Eurostar would operate roughly ten or 12 daily London-Paris services, six or eight services running to Brussels and another three to Amsterdam.
Now the high-speed rail operator is reduced to having two or three daily services to Paris and two to Brussels, one of which continues to Amsterdam.
A few weeks ago I was researching our November rail feature for Business Traveller and saw Amsterdam reduced to a single daily service.
As Europe by Rail notes this involves a morning departure from London with a teatime return from Amsterdam.
Eurostar is scaling back its new Amsterdam services even before it has started. Apart from on a few days after launch on 26 October, it'll now be only once daily (not weekends) rather than 2x daily. A morning run from St Pancras out to AMS and back in the late afternoon.
— EuropeByRail (@EuropeByRail) October 15, 2020
But that’s not all. Between early November and mid-December there will no direct service at weekends.
A Eurostar spokesperson told Business Traveller this was due to engineering works.
However, from the end of this month, Amsterdam-London travellers will have a direct train. Passengers will no longer have to change in Brussels Midi for immigration and security clearance.
Of course Eurostar is reflecting the drastically reduced demand on all its routes owing to quarantine, curfews and other restrictions.
It means Eurostar faces the same issues as the airlines in coping with Covid-19.