4 Feb 2020: As Eurostar launches its new direct service both to and from the Netherlands, Richard Hammond joins the inaugural service from Amsterdam Centraal.
Since 2018, Eurostar has carried over half a million passengers on its service from London St Pancras to Amsterdam (and Rotterdam), but on the return journey, passengers have to disembark at Brussels to go through passport control (adding about an hour to the journey time). With the launch of this new service, passport check-in is now carried out at Amsterdam Centraal station before passengers board the direct train through to London.
The train does still stop at Brussels to pick up passengers, but those who boarded at Amsterdam no longer have to disembark and go through passport control at Brussels. This cuts the overall journey time significantly - it will now be just over 4 hours (4 hours 9 minutes) to go from Amsterdam to London, door to door.
The new service will start from 30th April from Amsterdam and 18th May from Rotterdam. Tickets will be from £35 each way and will go on sale from 11th February. Eurostar tickets can be booked at www.eurostar.com or via the Eurostar contact centre on 03432 186 186.
Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands, said: “The direct connection makes the train journey to London easier and faster. Checks in Brussels will no longer be necessary, saving travellers an hour of travel time. This way the train really becomes a fully-fledged alternative to the plane.”
Video of the inaugural Eurostar service this morning at Amsterdam Centraal railway station:
Mike Cooper, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said: “Our fully direct service marks an exciting advance for high-speed rail and provides consumers with a comfortable, environmentally friendly alternative to the airlines on one of Europe’s busiest leisure and business routes.”
By Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond was also on the first Eurostar from Brussels to London St Pancras, read his article in the Guardian: Brussels to London in a blur