Advertisement

Six-month suspension for Eurostar trains from Amsterdam to London

Eurostar
Eurostar

EUROSTAR services from the Netherlands to London will be suspended for six months.

The decision was announced by Dutch rail company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), which said Amsterdam Centraal station will be unable to process cross-Channel passengers during a major renovation of the station.

For six months from June 2024, Eurostar trains will run empty on the route before picking up London-bound travellers in Brussels.

Cross-Channel services from Rotterdam will be affected in the same way.

It was initially feared direct services from the Netherlands would be suspended for almost a year.

Passengers wanting to travel from Amsterdam or Rotterdam to London by rail will be required to take a train to Brussels and change onto a Eurostar service.

Direct Eurostar trains from London to the Netherlands will continue to operate.

There are currently four daily return services between London and Amsterdam via Brussels and Rotterdam.

It is a key route for the operator as it challenges one of the busiest European markets for airlines.

But passenger numbers for services from Amsterdam are currently restricted due to limits on how many can pass through passport and security checks at the station.

NS said in a statement that organisations involved in the renovation project investigated how services from Amsterdam could continue but found it would not be possible “despite all efforts”.

It went on: “That is very disappointing because we have worked hard in recent years to make the Eurostar to London an attractive alternative to air travel.

“In order to keep the period in which there can be no secured departure from Amsterdam as short as possible, we are doing everything in our power we can to deliver the new Eurostar terminal as quickly as possible.

The National: Eurostar
The National: Eurostar

“It is now expected that this terminal will be put into use in January 2025.

“The good news is that many more passengers can depart from Amsterdam Centraal station by train via this new terminal.

“From 250 passengers per train now to 400 passengers per train as of January 2025, and later that year even 650 passengers per train.”

Eurostar Group chief executive Gwendoline Cazenave said: “Eurostar has always aimed to find a solution that would have the least possible impact on customers, the environment and its business. We acknowledge that a final decision has been made.

“We are pleased that the discussions have shortened the gap in services between Amsterdam and London from 12 to six months and we continue to work on reducing the inconvenience for passengers, local residents and the economy of Amsterdam and surrounding areas.

“It is very important that all the parties involved are responsible and supportive of each other to meet the deadlines.

“Our focus must now turn to how we can offer the best experience and journey connections for Eurostar customers in this period.

“As part of this work, we will still run services directly between London and Amsterdam one-way as a minimum.

“We will be working collaboratively in the coming weeks to further mitigate the impacts for Eurostar and its customers over the six-month gap and more information will be made available in due course.”