Eurostar could soon have two new competitors - and one wants to go to Groningen!
The Eurostar train service, running between Amsterdam and London, could soon have two new competitors on the route, adding new options for travel and ending Eurostar’s monopoly. The route, which currently sees four daily trains run from Amsterdam to London, could also be extended to include Groningen, says one of the potential new competitors.
British billionaire Richard Branson wants to compete with Eurostar
The first potential Eurostar challenger is Richard Branson, the billionaire British business magnate who ran a successful train service, Virgin Trains, in the UK for 22 years before the company ceased operations in 2019. Now, the billionaire has his eyes set on Eurostar, according to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, who claim to have been told by a source that Virgin “would have a strong chance of succeeding” on any cross-channel routes given its experience running a UK trains franchise from 1997 to 2019.
Branson is no stranger to such bold ambitions. In the 1980s and 90s, he took Virgin Atlantic to the skies along with the airline’s co-founders and took on British Airways on transatlantic routes. Now, the airline has 41 aircraft and flies to 32 destinations in North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and beyond.
Dutch company Heuro is also looking to take on Eurostar
Branson is not alone in seeing new possibilities in the tunnel - Dutch company Heuro has also expressed an interest in getting in on the action. Entrepreneurs Roemer and Maarten van den Biggelaar told the AD that they see Heuro running over a dozen trains a day between Amsterdam and London, with two of the daily trains going from Groningen to London as well.
“There is a beautiful tunnel with high-speed rail under the Channel that could be used much better,” Roemer van den Biggelaar told the AD. “We have done a thorough data analysis, and the demand is there… Why should only the Randstad be connected to London and Paris?”, he added.
Under Heuro’s proposals, their service would see 16 trains run from Amsterdam to Paris daily by 2028, and 25 daily return trips from London. The entrepreneurs think they will also be able to compete on price with Eurostar, saying that they believe they will be able to offer cheaper tickets, but “cannot yet say how much cheaper a ticket will be.”
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