Whilst tickets can be purchased from February, the service will officially open at the end of April. Initially there will be two services running from Amsterdam to London a day during the week and one on the weekend. Eurostar aims to eventually increase this to three daily services and then four. Passengers should arrive at their destination in approximately 3 hours and 52 minutes. With returning fares are priced from as little as £70, the new service is expected to be of popular demand.
Although Eurostar previously had three direct trains, carrying 570,000 passengers since April 2018 between London and Amsterdam, the journey had never been as straightforward. The existing route meant that passengers heading towards London were forced to change trains for passport checks in Brussels, taking the journey time to over 5 hours. However, an agreement between both the UK and Dutch Government has allowed for the new commercial route to finally launch, taking passengers from Amsterdam Centraal to London St Pancras.
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Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport stated, ‘’the days of passengers being forced to decamp from the train at Brussels to file through passport control will soon be over, as we look forward to direct, return, high speed services to Amsterdam and beyond.’’ The direct route will also stop at Rotterdam, with a direct route from Rotterdam to London launching from 18th May 2020.
Whilst it is still considerably cheaper to fly, the high speed train competes against air travel boasting that their service is more eco-friendly with Eurostar encouraging passengers to choose low-carbon travel by train over flight. The Channel Tunnel Service has stated that the Co2 from the commute between the UK and Dutch capitals is 80 per cent lower than that of plane. Furthermore, for every departing service in 2020, the operator will plant a tree in either Britain, France, Belgium or The Netherlands in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly. Is high speed rail the future of travel across mainland Europe?
Feature Image Credit: Liam Gant from Pexels