Over two years after direct trains started running from London to Amsterdam, travellers will finally be able to catch trains in the opposite direction – though no date has yet been revealed for when they may begin.
Since Eurostar extended its London-Brussels service to the Dutch capital, passengers travelling in the opposite direction have had to change trains in the Belgian capital.
A treaty signed in Brussels by France, Belgium and the Netherlands will allow UK Border Force staff to be stationed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
These “juxtaposed border checks” will enable travellers to be cleared for travel through the Channel Tunnel to London.
The security search will also take place in the Netherlands.
The home secretary, Priti Patel, said: “This important treaty shows that while we have left the European Union, our links with Europe are stronger than ever.
“It will enable vital security and immigration checks to be carried out in the Netherlands, protecting the UK’s border and providing faster and more efficient journeys for passengers.”
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “As we begin to emerge from one of the greatest international challenges of our time, we’re working hard to support the recovery of international transport and tourism sectors.”
The Dutch state secretary for infrastructure, Stientje van Veldhoven, said: “The new direct train service enables us to travel from Amsterdam to London in just over four hours.
“It’s fast and convenient, and without the hassle of disembarking in Brussels for border and security checks.”
Previous deadlines for Amsterdam-London trains in December 2019 and April 2020 have been missed.
Mark Smith, the founder of the Seat61.com international rail travel website said: “This will finally allow Eurostar to compete on one of Europe’s busiest air routes.
“The direct London to Amsterdam trains have already proved even more popular than Eurostar expected, and with room to move, free WiFi and city-centre arrival the fully bi-directional service is likely to take a significant share of that market.”
London-Amsterdam services were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will resume on Thursday, 9 July.
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