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Breakthrough in Europe travel will start in seven weeks

February 12, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The latest breakthrough in European travel – direct Eurostar high-speed train service between London and Amsterdam, starting this April – is set to be a winner and is already worrying cut-price carriers easyJet and Ryanair.

There are several reasons why Australians and tourists will love the new London-Amsterdam train service:

  • Amsterdam is incredibly popular and so is Eurostar. They both feature frequently on European travel itineraries.
  • Anyone who has been in Europe when airports are fogged up or snowed in will know what a relief it is to zip straight from London to Paris and back without hassle. It will be the same with Amsterdam.
  • The new Eurostar route will begin in just seven weeks – on 4 April 2018.
  • Tickets are cheap – they are priced from GBP 35 one-way (AUD 62) and they will go on sale on Tuesday next week (20 February 2018).
  • It will take three hours and 41 minutes to travel London-Amsterdam and three hours flat from London to Rotterdam.

For the first time, passengers will be able to travel from St Pancras in the heart of London direct to the Netherlands in just three hours at a speed of 300km/h.

With over 4 million passengers travelling by air every year between London and Amsterdam, Eurostar says 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 past 23 years, the market for travel between London and Paris has more than doubled as customers increasingly choose high-speed rail over plane.

The new London-Amsterdam service will be launched with two trains a day departing at 08.31 and 17.31 respectively.

There’s just one hitch – a passport stop in Brussels on the return journey – but Eurostar says this is temporary.

During the initial period, although passengers will travel direct from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the return journey will connect through Brussels where passport controls and security screening will take place. Passengers will travel on a Thalys service from Amsterdam or Rotterdam to Brussels for passport and security checks before boarding a Eurostar to London.

Eurostar says 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 new London-Amsterdam service not only creates a fast, point-to-point link between Britain and the Netherlands, it also heralds a record new journey time for passengers travelling on the London-Brussels section of the route.

These passengers will see their journey time cut by 17 minutes as the time aboard falls from two hours and five minutes to one hour and 48 minutes.

Written by Peter Needham

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