Eurostar, the high speed rail service linking the UK and mainland Europe, today marks an historic milestone in the expansion of international high speed rail as it embarks on its inaugural revenue journey from the UK direct to The Netherlands.
After extensive preparation, including a comprehensive program of testing on the Dutch high-speed network, and the building of Eurostar terminals in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Eurostar will start its commercial service today with two trains a day departing at 8:31 a.m. and 5:31 p.m.
Today’s inaugural service heralds an exciting new chapter in the expansion of high speed rail, strengthening the trading and tourism links between the UK and mainland Europe. We are looking forward to providing customers with a fast, comfortable connection from London to Amsterdam and transforming travel between these important capital cities.
With highly competitive fares from just $50.00 one-way, a journey time of 3 hours, 1 minute to Rotterdam and 3 hours, 41 minutes to Amsterdam, Eurostar will transform the connection between these key destinations, providing travelers with a compelling, environmentally friendly alternative to the airlines.
With over 4 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 twenty-three 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.
With its seamless city center to city center offering, wi-fi connectivity and ample space to work or relax, Eurostar’s new service will provide passengers with a stylish, convenient route from the UK to the Netherlands and a transformed travel experience.
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. Customers will travel on a Thalys service from Amsterdam or Rotterdam to Brussels, where passport and security checks will take place before boarding a Eurostar to London.
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 travelers can then enjoy a direct service in both directions.
In addition to revolutionizing the cross Channel connection to The Netherlands, the new London-Amsterdam service also delivers a record new journey time for those passengers travelling on the London-Brussels section of the route. Going forward, these customers will see their journey time cut by 17 minutes as the time onboard is reduced to 1 hour, 48 minutes.
For more information or to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com.