Following the success of Eurostar’s decision to launch two trains per day in April this year on the London – Amsterdam route, the cross-Channel high speed operator expects to launch a third daily train in June 2019.
Between London, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Eurostar has already carried more than 130,000 passengers on direct trains. These currently operate as a through train between London and the Netherlands, with inbound passenger to the UK having to change trains in Brussels, where border and security checks are carried out.
The third train would be ‘an interim measure’ pending completion of staff training and border facilities at Amsterdam Centraal and Rotterdam, said a Eurostar spokesman. Eurostar has also said that an agreement between the UK and Dutch governments for controls to be undertaken in the Netherlands, which will enable passengers to have a direct journey to the UK, is expected to be finalised by the end of 2019 at the latest.
Once the direct service is in operation for both directions, Eurostar expects to start operating up to five trains each way per day. The London to Amsterdam journey takes 3h 41min and its services are provided in collaboration with Thalys, which like Eurostar is majority owned by SNCF and which provides connections with Eurostar at Brussels, and Dutch national operator NS, which provides drivers to Eurostar between Brussels and Amsterdam.
NS Chief Executive Roger van Boxtel told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad on the 23rd of October that he was “overjoyed” about the success of the service. “This development is good for the environment. In addition, I think it is important as a major opponent of Brexit that the two countries remain connected.”