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Eurostar increases London to Amsterdam services with a third daily train

Journey from London takes over four hours due to complications of "train paths"

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 04 January 2019 16:00 GMT
Eurostar running more trains between London and Amsterdam

The direct Eurostar train from London to Amsterdam is proving so successful that a new middle-of-the-day departure will be introduced from 11 June.

The link between St Pancras and Centraal stations in the UK and Dutch capitals began in April 2018. The existing early morning and early evening departures from London will continue, with a new 11.04am train seven days a week.

As the existing services operate on only six days each, the capacity on the route the the Channel Tunnel increases by 58 per cent.

The new service will provide plenty of time for travellers from elsewhere in Britain to reach London by rail. Passengers on the first morning train from Edinburgh and Newcastle should be able comfortably to connect at St Pancras, with a 9.40am arrival at neighbouring King’s Cross station.

Even early travellers from Penzance and Plymouth can make the connection, with a 10.02am arrival at London Paddington, which is 15 minutes from St Pancras by tube.

The new London-Amsterdam journey will take longer than the existing trains, because of the complications of finding suitable “paths” (the rail equivalent of airline slots). It is scheduled for four hours, seven minutes – 12 minutes longer than the existing services.

Passengers will find the train waits at Brussels Midi station for 17 minutes. It reaches Rotterdam three hours and 28 minutes after leaving London.

On the original schedule at the launch of the service, London-Rotterdam was three hours flat, with Amsterdam 41 minutes further on.

Eurostar claims that the journey from London to Amsterdam produces only one-fifth of the CO2 of an airline passenger, and says that the third service will bring Eurostar’s capacity on the route to the equivalent of 12 flights per day.

Test bookings made by The Independent show a wide availability of seats at the £35 one-way lead-in price – to both Amsterdam and the Netherlands’ second city, Rotterdam.

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Mike Cooper, Eurostar’s chief executive, said: “Our new route to the Netherlands has been met with strong demand from our customers, who increasingly value the ease, comfort and seamless experience of high-speed rail.”

However, there is nothing seamless about the homeward journey. Passengers from Amsterdam and Rotterdam must change trains in Brussels because there is no facility for security and immigration screening at the Dutch stations.

Talks are continuing over the introduction of border controls by the end of this year.

Eurostar has said it intends to double the current number of trains each day to four with ambitions for five services a day.

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