Eurostar – the rail service that currently operates services through the channel tunnel, and connecting London to Paris and Brussels has a new destination in its sights – and it’s Amsterdam
Test services have been running for some time as the train company gauges how to operate the service.
The route is due to commence on 4th April 2018, with tickets on sale from 20th February 2018
initially, two services a day will be operated from London St Pancras International, with departures at 08:31 and 17:31.
The service is direct from London St Pancras to Amsterdam, however on the return leg, passengers will need to change trains at Brussels Midi/Zud to clear security, passport control and immigration.
As a result, services to Brussels Midi will increase up to 10 trains per day.
In terms of timings, Eurostar are promising
- London to Rotterdam – 3 hours 1 minute
- London to Amsterdam Central – 3 hours 41 minutes
- Amsterdam to Brussels Midi/Zud, will take under 2 hours with Thalys, with the Brussels to London St Pancras leg taking about 2 hours
Eurostar is working with the UK and Netherlands governments to find an agreement that will allow passport checks to be carried out before departure in the Netherlands, harmonising how other Eurostar operations are run – and thus allow through travel.
In addition to the new Amsterdam route, the London to Brussels services will receive a journey time cut, with the segment taking 1 hour and 48 minutes to complete. The additional time of course is clearing security, immigration and customs.
For Eurostar who for years have been working towards expanding their service beyond the traditional three-capitals service (excluding the Ski and Disneyland services), it’s a major step forward to gain a new set of passengers.
3 hours 41 minutes sounds a lot – but let’s work to a context if you’re flying to Amsterdam. Assuming you’re departing Paddington:
- 11 minutes to get from Piccadilly Circus to Paddington
- 18 minutes to get to Heathrow Terminal 4/25 minutes to get T4
- 1 hour at least to clear security
- 1 hour 15 at least for taxi, take off, flight, landing and more taxing
- 30 minutes to get out of Schipol
- 18 minutes to get to Amsterdam Centraal
Excluding some walking times, that gives you a total time of 3 hours 32 minutes at best.
Compared with Eurostar:
- Piccadilly Circus to St Pancras: 13 minutes
- Check in and Security: 30 minutes
- London to Amsterdam Central- 3 hours 41 minutes
A grand total of 4 hours 24 minutes, centre to centre, again at best.
Considering the faff there s with flying this distance, rail makes one heck of an attractive alternative. And that’s the trick to Eurostar – making it easier and better than dealing with airports and the lack of joy on these short-haul flights where all you want to do is get from A to B.
And with a lead-in price of £35 each way, it’s very attractive.
Timing data: Airlines – Flightaware and experiences (not counting minimum conformance deadlines), transit times via Google Maps). Check-in times via Eurostar
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