Eurostar to run direct trains (under 4 hours) from London to Amsterdam by end of 2017
Direct Eurostar services between London and Amsterdam will be operating by the end of the year, sparking a major price war with airlines. Initially there will be 2 trains per day and the journey from St Pancras to Amsterdam city centre will take just under 4 hours. Direct Eurostars between London and Rotterdam are also due to start before long. There is considerable, lucrative, demand due to Christmas markets in Amsterdam. Eurostar is now set to challenge companies including British Airways and easyJet, on price, speed, ease, convenience and quality of service. Eurostar already competes with airlines with low fares, as low as £25 one way, between London and Brussels. Eurostar has bought new e320 trains and refurbished others. The e320 trains have 20% more capacity, and wifi. Part of the route to Amsterdam is with Dutch rail operator NS International, which operates high-speed links to Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris and other destinations. In March Eurostar announced the opening of a new high-speed link to Bordeaux, with an easy connection in Paris (Gare du Nord to Montparnasse) with train times linking up. This trip cuts an hour off the journey time to Bordeaux, and offers an alternative to flying.
Eurostar to run direct trains from London to Amsterdam by end of the year
By DICK MURRAY (Evening Standard)
Direct Eurostar services between London and Amsterdam will be operating by the end of the year, sparking a major price war with airlines.
Initially there will be two trains a day and the journey from St Pancras International to Amsterdam city centre will take just under four hours.
Direct Eurostars between London and Rotterdam are also said to be in the “final stages of preparation” and will follow shortly afterwards.
The Amsterdam launch will be in time to seize a share of the lucrative Christmas market. More than three million passengers a year travel by air between London and Amsterdam, making it one of Europe’s most busiest routes.
Eurostar is now set to challenge companies including British Airways and easyJet.
A company source said: “We will compete with the low-cost airlines on price, speed, ease, convenience and quality of service.”
The train operator is already taking on airlines on its Paris and Brussels routes, offering fares as low as £25 one way. It also highlighted the start this Sunday of its new e320 trains between London and Brussels.
Speaking in the Belgian capital, Euro-star chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said the Brussels service was part of a £1 billion investment programme, including 17 of the e320 stock and refurbishment of original trains.
The terminal at Brussels Midi has been renovated. “The introduction of the e320 on the Brussels route marks an important milestone in the travel experience for customers,” he said.
“With demand for high-speed rail over plane on the increase we are gearing up to expand our reach to Amsterdam and Rotterdam.”
Marjon Kaper, managing director of Dutch rail operator NS International, which operates high-speed links to Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris and other destinations, said: “The preparations for the direct connection between Amsterdam and London with Eurostar and NS are progressing well.
“All partners are working hard on this. Today is special because the start of services with the new train to Brussels brings the ‘Amsterdam Route’ closer.”
The e320 has been on the London-Paris route since 2015. Eurostar said it was “proving very popular with customers”, with “20 per cent more capacity … chic interior, wi-fi and on-board entertainment streamed to customers’ personal devices”.
However, when the trains were launched the Standard reported how some passengers complained about “uncomfortable” seats, “too bright” lighting and a “wobbly” swaying motion.
High-speed line to Bordeaux
14.3.2017 (Eurostar press release)
- Journey time reduced by over one hour
- First service departs on 2 July 2017
- Fares from London to Bordeaux start from £110 return
Eurostar, the high-speed rail service linking the UK and mainland Europe, will open ticket sales for the new route from London to Bordeaux tomorrow, 15 March 2017.
The new high-speed line in France will reduce journey time by over one hour, offering passengers a more convenient alternative to flying. With a simple connection in Paris from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse, passengers can travel from the heart of London to the centre of Bordeaux, with services specially timed to ensure a fast transfer between the Eurostar and local high-speed train.
The new line is testament to the increasing appeal of the city, which offer travellers the ultimate French escape. Crowned as the 2017World’s Best City by Lonely Planet, Bordeaux boasts grand architecture, a dynamic restaurant scene and a wealth of art and culture.
Nick Mercer, Commercial Director, Eurostar, said: “There is a growing appetite for Bordeaux, as British travellers are drawn to the gastronomic and cultural attractions of the city and nearby regions. With the new high-speed line, passengers will benefit from a more civilised way to travel with city-centre-to city-centre travel, a generous baggage allowance and superior comfort on board our new trains.”
With its close proximity to the Atlantic Coast, Bordeaux is extremely well connected linking some of France’s most popular seaside resorts including Île de Ré, Cap Ferret, Arcachon. For those looking to taste some of Europe’s finest wines, the world famous vineyards of Saint-Émilion and Médoc are within easy reach.
With quick and convenient check-in, city-centre to city-centre travel, and a generous baggage allowance, Eurostar is the ideal way to travel to mainland Europe. Passengers travelling on the new e320 train can sit back and unwind in more spacious surroundings and enjoy free wi-fi and over 300 hours of entertainment – all streamed straight to their phone, tablet or laptop.
From only £110 return, passengers can speed across the French countryside to Bordeaux. For more information or to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com or call the Eurostar contact centre on 03432 186 186.
- Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Marseille and the French Alps
- Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.