EUROSTAR will launch regular services to Amsterdam next Easter, it has been revealed.
The operator ran the first e320 Siemens Velaro to carry passengers between London and Brussels two days ago, and the event was accompanied by reports that at least two trains a day would be running to Amsterdam before Christmas.
However Eurostar has denied this, saying that although its test trains have been running successfully on the Dutch network, and that these tests will continue, a public launch of regular services is not expected until Easter 2018.
A company source told Railnews: “Driver training has been going well, and the start of e320 services on the Brussels route is certainly a start, but we do not expect to run regular services to the Netherlands until Easter 2018, to coincide with the beginning of the City Break season. An inaugural train to Amsterdam is likely later this year, but we think that will be it until 2018.”
The new Eurostar route north of Brussels will serve two major Dutch cities. Rotterdam is the country’s business capital, while the real capital Amsterdam is a favourite tourist destination. The journey time from London St Pancras International to Amsterdam Centraal will be under four hours.
Eurostar has indicated that the stopping pattern between Brussels and Amsterdam is not yet set in stone, and there is also the possibility that trains from London could run beyond Amsterdam, perhaps to Utrecht, if there proves to be a business case for an extension.