Direct Eurostar between Amsterdam and London coming autumn 2020
The Netherlands’ signing of a new treaty means the direct Eurostar train route between Amsterdam and London will run coming autumn 2020.
From the Netherlands to England
The existing route between Amsterdam Central Station and London St Pancras has a mandatory stop in Brussels for passport checks. However, this new treaty will mean passport control will be carried out in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and so the stop-over is no longer required.
This change will shave an hour off the travel time, and travel between the two European capitals will take just over four hours. Dutch Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Stientje van Veldhoven, hopes this new train route will offer a viable and sustainable alternative to flying, as a Eurostar train has approximately double the number of seats as an average plane and the CO2 emissions per passenger are considerably lower.
But don’t book your tickets just yet - the exact start date of this new route is yet to be determined, and hinges on the development of the coronavirus pandemic.
Passport control in Amsterdam
The route has been in the planning for a while but suffered months of delays as a result of the coronavirus. The route was supposed to run from the end of April, but because of the lockdown in the Netherlands, the final stages of implementing passport control in Amsterdam could not be completed.
The Dutch Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen; NS) had hoped to have the train running by the start of next year, but Van Veldhoven's signing of a treaty in Brussels allows for the simplification of passport control measures. This means setting up passport control in Rotterdam and Amsterdam will not take as long as expected and the direct line between England and the Netherlands can come much sooner than anticipated.
The United Kingdom, France, and Belgium have also signed the treaty, which secures smoother train travel between the UK and EU member states following Brexit at the end of this year.