It’s official: on Wednesday 4 April, travellers can travel direct from London to Amsterdam by train, doing away with the need for airport rigmarole.
The extension of the Eurostar comes after a number of delays to the launch. But track improvements mean that the London-Brussels journey has also benefitted, with 17 minutes being shaved off its journey.
The inaugural journey takes place on 23 March but on 4 April, the new service will begin in earnest, luring away some of the four million passengers who travel between the countries by plane. That’s the same number who flew to Paris when the Eurostar was introduced in 1994, incidentally.
What does the new service does it entail exactly? Well, it’s not smooth travelling all the way. Here’s the lowdown.
- The service will run from the heart of both cities, with London St Pancras and Amsterdam Centraal Station the termini
- The train will sustain a top speed of 300kph
- Tickets cost from £35 one-way
- Expect two departures a day
- Journey time will take 3hr 41 (London-Amsterdam) and 3hr01 (London- Rotterdam)
- Passengers will travel direct from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but need to stop via Brussels on the return journey for passport control and security screenings. This is while the UK and the Netherlands sort out agreement to check passports in The Netherlands, which should be complete by 2019
- This means the return journey from Amsterdam takes 4hrs 40
- The route will be served by E320 trains, which offer free wi-fi and onboard entertainment
- This train journey from London to Amsterdam emits 80% less carbon than the equivalent flight
- Passengers are allowed two large bags and one piece of hand luggage each, and are asked to arrive 30 minutes before departure