Eurostar, the high-speed rail service connecting the UK with mainland Europe, has officially launched its new service direct from London’s St. Pancras International rail station to Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Eurostar says the launch of the new service transforms the connection between London and the Netherlands. For the first time, pax can travel from the heart of London to Rotterdam in three hours and one minute and to Amsterdam in three hours and 41 minutes, at a speed of about 300 kph.
Offering fares starting at £35 (approximately CAD$62) one-way, the new route provides travellers with an alternative to the airlines. Eurostar also makes a case for high-speed rail as an environmentally responsible choice for European short-haul travel, saying the rail journey produces 80% less carbon per passenger than the equivalent flight.
“The departure of our first commercial service to Amsterdam represents a historic milestone for Eurostar and the growth of international high speed rail,” said Mike Cooper, Chief Executive, Eurostar. “With the Netherlands becoming increasingly popular as a business and tourism destination, the potential for our new route is significant and we look forward to offering our customers a fast, seamless connection between these key European cities.”
Eurostar’s fleet of e320 trains is operating on the London-Amsterdam route and features WiFi connectivity and 300 hours of onboard entertainment streamed to customers’ personal devices.
With the new Eurostar service between the UK and The Netherlands, passengers will travel direct from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam and on the return journey will connect through Brussels where passport controls and security screening will be carried out.
This connecting return journey will be a temporary measure while the governments in the UK and The Netherlands complete an agreement which will enable passport checks to be conducted on departure in The Netherlands as in other key Eurostar destinations.
Tickets are now on sale for Eurostar’s new route which has started with two direct services a day departing London at 08.31 and 17.31.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.