Eurostar has announced a new direct route from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which will launch on 4 April. It says the market for travel between London and Paris has more than doubled as passenger increasingly choose high-speed rail over the plane.
Nicolas Petrovic, the outgoing chief executive of Eurostar, said the Netherlands service heralded a new era in worldwide high-speed rail.
Eurostar says the connection at Brussels is a temporary measure until the British and Dutch governments reach an agreement to allow passport checks to be conducted on departure in the Netherlands.
"We're very excited", Eurostar Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Petrovic said in a phone interview.More news: AIMPLB expels cleric for suggesting Babri Masjid be shifted
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After extensive preparation, a comprehensive programme of testing on the Dutch high speed network and the building of Eurostar terminals in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Eurostar's new route to the Netherlands will start on 4 April 2018 with one-way fares from £35.
"With direct services from the United Kingdom to The Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the United Kingdom and three of Europe's top trading nations". While passengers still have to change at Brussels, there are ten trains running from there to London each day. It will target potential converts by saying a London-Amsterdam Eurostar journey emits 80% less carbonthan the equivalent flight.
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.
Travel time from London to Rotterdam will be 3 hours, and to Amsterdam 3 hours and 40 minutes. Eurostar expects this will be completed by late 2019. 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.