Eurostar Amsterdam Services…On or off?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  TimFitzgeraldTC 25 Mar 2019
at 14:22
.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

  • MarcusGB
    Participant

    Transferring the discussion as a bi topic of the Eurostar dates Paris delays…

    Has anyone used these “Ghost” Services as yet?

    There are Direct flight listed on the Eurostar.co.ukwebsite,on checking with a Mock booking on Saturday.
    Thurs 28th March –
    08.16hrs London, Arr – 13.11hrs.
    Fares £59 standard, £109 Premier standard, Business £260 All One Way!
    17.16hrs – 22.11hrs arrive AMS C also.

    Yet there are none back a return later in April.
    They only detail changing trains, Eurostar to Thalys, different Companies, no communications between them.
    You have 45-1.30hrs to wait, but have to go through 2 passport controls in Brussels, a Belgium one, and right behind that a UK Border control.
    Seems not one trusts the other, so who know what will happen post Brexit.
    Quite absurd to go through both, literally a few steps behind the other.

    On previous experience, if your train is late either Company, you next train if misses connection, does not entitle ou to board the next one, and most Thalys are full.
    You have to Pay, IF there are free seats. Interesting if the UK operated trains on the basis that No seats No travel?
    Neither Company accept any link with the other, and are simply not interested.

    Check in times, Boarding, Security, Customs, Immigration offer no difference in Airport times, and you equally have to travel to each departure point. It has taken my almost 7 hrs on one trip North London to Home in Amsterdam.
    So i stay with the airport and flying.

    This really needs to be working or Not, and is nothing but a promoted fantasy for through travels, when its simply not there the next week or days ahead., even on the same days.
    As you say Alex, only set to get worse after Brexit, whenever that may be.
    Simply takes most of a whole day each way and no realistic nor less costly option compared to flights.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Marcus – And there’s another quirk from mid-June when Eurostar starts to operate three daily London-Amsterdam services.

    The new service departs London at 1104 arriving into Amsterdam at 1611,

    But even though this train stops in Brussels it can only, at the time of writing, be booked if travelling to Rotterdam or Amsterdam.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/eurostar-tickets-seats-london-brussels-st-pancras-midi-station-train-a8794106.html


    capetonianm
    Participant

    As usual, the man in seat 61

    https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/direct-eurostar-london-to-amsterdam.htm#Train_times

    has something to say about this, all neatly summarised.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi Alex

    Not strictly true. The 11:04 train can be booked on the GDS to Brussels as can the other services that operate onto Amsterdam.

    I did notice checking earlier that for April dates the “Amsterdam” services were all on sale on Eurostar website as far as Brussels. But for June dates none are – though GDS has all 3 services available to book to Brussels only.

    MarcusGB. As it stands at Brussels as has been the case for years – you clear passport control of both Belgium and UK (In Paris you clear French passport control and then UK passport control straight after). This has been the case since they stopped doing passport checks on the trains as they did in the early years.

    Until Amsterdam & Rotterdam have segregated areas for international travellers to UK then the Thalys service is booked to Brussels with the change. The Eurostar website sells as 1 connection and if Thalys is delayed you are re-protected onto next train. Going to AMS is not relevant as you can get the direct service there (though you can also book connection which is protected).

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Not strictly true. The 11:04 train can be booked on the GDS to Brussels as can the other services that operate onto Amsterdam.

    I did notice checking earlier that for April dates the “Amsterdam” services were all on sale on Eurostar website as far as Brussels. But for June dates none are – though GDS has all 3 services available to book to Brussels only.

    That’s interesting. Just now I checked with Eurostar.com and the new third service which starts in June is available only for the public (unless using a travel agency GDS) to book only when going to Rotterdam/Amsterdam. In other words the 1104 to Amsterdam still cannot be booked as far as Brussels.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Hi Tim.

    Yes, well aware of the checking systems in Brussels, these have not changed for the connections to Thalys, if you have a connecting train.
    There are no notes about having to get off and on the “Direct” services, nor the time allocated for you to go through these checks before you find the train has departed.
    There is no communication between Immigration and the train Companies to process you in time, before yr train leaves.

    However, Thalys are often fully booked, and it is clear that neither Company communicates from one of my journeys, and would not allow passengers who missed the Eurostar connection due to Thalys coming in late to Brussels, to use the next fully booked service either.
    If you do use NL Rail services the Intercity trains, you also have to pay by Chip card, as you Eurostar or Thalys tickets, are not valid, as they are again a 3rd Company.

    So IF, these are supposed to be direct trains, why do they not state “You must get off in Brussels and proceed through customs and immigration , country after country, desk by desk”!
    How can it be direct if you have to get off and back on again…it Isn’t.
    They easily know you are entering Schenghen on the way out and this would suffice, having passport controls at St Pancras.
    Passports are also checked on return before you get out of the station at St Pancras.
    This continues to mis-inform travellers, and after witnessing half a train of people have the doors of a Eurostar closed in front of them, as Thalys was late, and all took ages unless they ran through these checks, never again for me. I luckily knew of this and ran between platforms and through immigration. Plenty other passengers did not, and Eurostar locked the doors whilst the train waited for 5 minutes before departing. The through passengers from Amsterdam i had travelled with on Thalys, were banging and shouting on the platform, but ignored. A cikkeagye infirmed me the next Eurostar was full and many had to pay £145 extra for a new seat, some 3 trains later with an extra 4 hrs to wait!

    As for flying, i offset my emissions with the suggested donation to plant trees with KLM.The destruction of ground for rail services also should be taken into account, such as that for HS2!

    I certainly will not be taking Eurostar for these trains having to go through Immigration 3 times, each way as it is, and customs, and I am not waiting up to 1.5 hrs for connections. Thalys and Eurostar continue to regard themselves as different Companies and simply do not care if you have a through ticket with the other. It is very rare to find one seat not booked on Thalys trains that run through to Paris, and you require a pre-booked seat for both Companies.
    So a ticket, does not mean you will get to your destination is issues come up, unlike an Airline and compensations for travels within the EU.

    That is as it stands prior to Brexit, which may or may not come into effect next week!!!!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Ahmad
    Participant

    MarcusGB,

    What you recount is an appalling state of affairs. Fortunately, I have never had to take the Eurostar between Amsterdam and London and having been warned off will not do so unless I have absolutely no alternative.

    With regard to rail delay compensation in the EU, one is entitled to it for by law. The following link provides basic information:

    EU Railway Compensation


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi Marcus

    I’m slightly confused. If you book the direct Eurostar to Amsterdam online (or with an agent who books on GDS) on Eurostar.com you don’t have to get off at Brussels. If you book a connecting service in Brussels as it offers these options it clearly states – 1 change.

    There are no direct Amsterdam – London Eurostar services yet anyway so has to be booked as the connection in Brussels. It doesn’t sell a direct train back. The connections are protected where the change is required. Getting on a train however as it may be full as another issue (in same way a missed flight means they put you on next available service).


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    The connections are protected where the change is required.

    Tim – Not always. Depends how delayed the Thalys train will be when it reaches Brussels Midi. I believe Marcus had issues in the past when making a Thalys-Eurostar connection.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    As clearly outlined on my analysis, there ARE DIRECT services to LON- AMS twice a day in March. One of these departs at 08.11hrs.
    This uses the Eurostar.com website. Take sat 30th March/
    £109 out premium Economy “Direct”, 3hrs 55 mins. E229 for the return with 1 change, taking almost 4.5-6hrs hrs.

    As Alex et al, discussed many years after the more in depth analysis of this route, passengers would be required to get off in Brussels, pass through the UK for, Belgium Immigrations desks, )One behind the other) for Passports, Customs, and re join the train.

    Presumably, this is timetabled as it is one train, but you still have to get off and hopefully connect back in time, for the onward journey.

    No different to a “1 Change” to a pre-booked Thalys seay, waiting, a different train, but you still must proceed via customs and immigration as stated.
    There remain no equivalent trains “direct” for a return!! Nut you do wait once having been “Processed” for 45 mins -1.hr 35 mins for the next train.
    There are no platforms at Amsterdam Centraal offering immigration points for international Non Schengen Passengers.

    If offers no incentive to travel to Amsterdam by train compared to flying. Neither is it cheaper, with costs from £69 standard, £109 Premium standard, and £279 each way.
    Returning you cannot buy the premium standard as it does not exist on Thalys.+ Also, Premium Economy would not give you Economy Comfort 1, by standard 2 on Thalys, as they are 2 class trains!
    So Fares exceeds £348+/£ Time is 7 hrs + door to door.
    The two Companies Continue to offer no incentive or make no effort to communicate, or offer parallel service cabins. Yje connections are awful.

    Flights will always win with KLM ex UK from £78 per return, LHR $78+ return! 5+ hrs door to door Ex LCY for me @£91 return +!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi Marcus

    Actually you’ll find that Eurostar will soon be launching direct rail services back to London without the change at Brussels. Just a case of sorting out the formalities but infrastructure is now in place.

    “A new terminal has been completed at Amsterdam Centraal on the southeast end of platform 15, although this will only come into use when the border control issues are resolved and passengers can be checked in at Amsterdam, from a date to be announced in 2019. A similar terminal is being built on platform 1 at Rotterdam Central”.

    But in answer to your question – the return is currently timetabled as 2 trains (Thalys & Eurostar)

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Tim – I just wanted to say that it may not be “soon.”

    Although as you note the terminals are completed it is not expected that they will be in operation before the end of 2019.

    Eurostar plans to increase Amsterdam services in 2019

    Although our piece was written almost six months ago the issue with the Dutch terminals is further complicated by the current political situation.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi Alex

    I was trying to avoid a certain B word and I’ve no doubt at all that will be hindering the process for getting the direct return services sorted with passport control at AMS/RTM!

    Heyho

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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