27/09/2013 Eurostar announces new direct service between London and Amsterdam

27 Sep 2013

Partnership with the Dutch railways will see services commence in December 2016
Journey times of around four hours
Plan to revolutionise travel between these capital cities

Eurostar today announces that it has signed an agreement with the Dutch railways to launch direct services between London and Amsterdam from December 2016.
The announcement was made this afternoon by the Secretary of State for infrastructure and the environment as part of a package of measures to enhance the services on the Dutch high speed line and will be ratified by the Dutch Parliament over the coming months.  The Eurostar service will feature its new e320 trains which will be interoperable and will be compatible with the Dutch high-speed signalling systems.

Since becoming a standalone corporate entity in September 2010, Eurostar has had clear ambitions to expand its business beyond its existing destinations and to encourage passengers to choose high speed rail over plane for short haul European travel.  In the last year, the business has introduced new services to the Swiss Alps and Provence in the South of France.  Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in its expansion plans.

The London–Amsterdam route is the largest, international airline market in Europe attracting over 3 million business and leisure passengers.  With the arrival of a direct high-speed rail service between the UK and the Netherlands, passengers can look forward to an attractive, convenient alternative to the airlines.

Eurostar plans to run two services a day between London and Amsterdam with journey times of around four hours.  These services will run via Brussels to Amsterdam stopping at Antwerp, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Centraal.  In addition to providing a direct high-speed link between the UK and the Netherlands, this service will also enhance the scope for customers to connect to a range of destinations in mainland Europe.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:

We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations so today’s announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans.  With over 3 million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this is one of Europe’s most popular routes.  Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service will greatly enhance the links between the UK and the near continent, revolutionising travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.

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About Eurostar:

• Eurostar continues to innovate and enhance its service and the investments it is making over the next two years will shape the business for future growth.  The £700 million investment in creating a new fleet of trains remains on track with the production of Eurostar’s new e320 trainsets and the refurbishment of its existing fleet progressing well.  Both the refurbished and new train sets are being delivered to a design created by Pininfarina, the world-famous Italian design house, and the business looks forward to presenting its customers with a completely new fleet by 2015.

• Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

• Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

• The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 130 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.

For more information:
Eurostar Press Office 
020 7843 5500
press.office@eurostar.com