Reply To: Deutsche Bahn postpones its London plans yet again

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MarcusGB
Participant

Alex, we discussed the extension of trains to Amsterdam from London some time ago, and some important points were made.
That of Immigration Of entering the EU or UK Border controls, and Customs. Travellers would have to get off the train, go through as in Brussels already.
There was also some concern re the track compatibility in each of the relative countries, and use of dedicated lines or the normal lines in Holland.

Now Brexit means with border changes on the way, with ?? different restrictions of some type, this would carry a greater doubt of the viability of these services financially.

I took the Eurostar then connected to Thalys, having to go through Brussels immigration for exiting the UK, and entering the EU, one desk behind another quite ridiculous. If lucky you wait about 55 minutes but as the two do not schedule the trains to connect or in any way at all service each other, it can be almost over 1 hr 30 waiting.
On the return, the Thalys ran late and i had to ask the train Manager to communicate the late arrival, as even the 50 minute change was down to 10 minutes. over 25 passengers were connecting in the few carriages. He told us Eurostar knew and would hold the train 10 minutes.
I raced through knowing the system and where to go, and Just managed to get on the train. I was the only one!
Eurostar shut the doors, it did not leave for another 3 minutes as some people raced up the stairs to get on but doors were locked.
They were not entitled to use their tickets on another train, Thalys and Eurostar stated they were not responsible for each others timings or tickets. Some i understand were charged another £108 for a basic ticket,not all got on the next peak hour trains 2 hours later, and some arribed 4 hours late and over £300 out of pocket.

Generally, door to door living not far away in North London, and 10 mins from Amsterdam Central station, it took 6.5-7.5 hours. Check in, security, Customs, Immigration is no different to an airport, then the travel time and connections take far longer then a flight, even further through to Germany.
I have not used the route since, but Paris or Brussels i can understand ex London or Amsterdam with Thalys.

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