Eurostar confirms April launch date for London-Amsterdam

Eurostar confirmed it will start daily direct London to Amsterdam services on April 4 | Philippe Huguen  AFP via Getty Images

Eurostar confirmed it will start daily direct London to Amsterdam services on April 4 | Philippe Huguen AFP via Getty Images

Eurostar expects the train route to spark competition with airlines like easyJet and Ryanair, which offer cheap flights between London and Amsterdam.

Trains will depart twice a day at 8.31am and 5.31pm, going through Brussels and Rotterdam before arriving in Amsterdam.

Starting April 4, passengers will be able to hop on board a train at London's St. Pancras International and reach Amsterdam's Centraal station in just three hours and 41 minutes, while traveling at a speed of about 186 mph. The company said that travel to Brussels will now be even faster with the new route too, only taking one hour and 48 minutes, instead of two hours and five minutes.

It added that more than four million passengers travel between London and Amsterdam by air each year and therefore the market is the same size as it was when the London-Paris services launched in 1994. The extension of services to Amsterdam, another key business and leisure destination, has always been an aim of Eurostar.

"The launch of our service to the Netherlands represents an exciting advance in cross-Channel travel and heralds a new era in global high speed rail", Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar chief executive, said.

Eurostar Friday confirmed it will start daily direct London to Amsterdam services on April 4, but that the return journey will be interrupted by passport controls in Brussels. Work is ongoing at stations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to build passport and security clearance facilities. This is a temporary measure while the governments of the Netherlands and United Kingdom are working on an agreement which will allow passport controls to be done in the Netherlands.

These issues mean direct services returning to London will not be in place until the end of next year.

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