19 FEBRUARY 2018
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The long-awaited direct Eurostar service between London and Amsterdam will be launched in April.
The trip from St Pancras to Amsterdam will take 3hr 41min, but the return is an hour longer due to the Dutch government not providing outbound passport controls at their end.
From a technical point of view introducing the new service has not been difficult.
When the first London to Amsterdam Eurostar service leaves St Pancras in April, those undertaking the return trip will have to change trains in Brussels for passport checks, extending the journey to 4hr 40min.
An agreement between the Dutch and British governments on passport checks is unlikely to be reached until next year. It seems that the Dutch are keen to welcome incoming passengers but there is no Brexit involvement as the problem is long outstanding.
Whether the service succeeds and offers an attractive alternative to air travel remains to be seen. Fares are likely to be no cheaper and the frequency will be less whilst Amsterdam Central station is only on par with the airport in terms of rail connections. London – Paris had a grave effect on air travel typically the London City route only recently reinstalled.
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