New service launch announcement from Eurostar
For the first time, passengers will be able to travel from St Pancras in the heart of London direct to the Netherlands at a speed of 300 kph in just three hours. Eurostar, the cross channel high speed rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, has announced that its new direct route from London to Amsterdam will launch on Wednesday 4th April. The new service will offer two trains a day departing at 08.31 and 17.31 respectively, with one-way fares from £35.
The launch follows extensive preparation, a comprehensive programme of testing on the Dutch high speed network and the building of Eurostar terminals in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. During the initial period, passengers will travel direct from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and on the return journey will connect through Brussels where passport controls and security screening will be carried out.
This connecting return journey will be a temporary measure whilst the governments in the UK and The Netherlands complete an agreement which will enable passport checks to be conducted on departure in The Netherlands as in other key Eurostar destinations. The governments have committed to putting this agreement in place by the end of 2019 so that Eurostar travellers can then enjoy a direct service in both directions.
The launch of the London to Amsterdam service marks a historic milestone in the expansion of international high speed rail travel, revolutionising the connection between these important destinations, as Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive, Eurostar, noted: “With direct services from the UK to The Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the UK and three of Europe’s top trading nations,” he said. “Our new route marks the culmination of the extensive investment in high speed rail on both sides of the Channel. With £1 billion investment in our new state-of the art trains and enhanced connectivity on the European network passengers can now enjoy fast, seamless rail connections between the UK and mainland Europe and a transformed travel experience.”
With over four million passengers travelling by air every year between London and Amsterdam, the market is the same size as the London to Paris market at the time of Eurostar’s launch of service in 1994. Over the last 23 years, the market for travel between London and Paris has more than doubled as customers increasingly choose high speed rail over plane. As The Netherlands grows in popularity as a key business and tourism hub, the potential for the new service and the overall market is significant.
The launch of the new London-Amsterdam service not only creates a fast, point-to-point link with The Netherlands but also heralds a record new journey time for those passengers travelling on the London-Brussels section of the route. These customers will see their journey time cut by 17 minutes as the time onboard is reduced from 2hr05 to 1hr48.