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In May 2017, there were various press reports that Eurostar would run direct trains from London to Amsterdam by the end of the year; for example, see the London Evening Standard. What is the current status of those plans? Eurostar bookings are open for January 2018, but when I search for London to Amsterdam, any date I try yields Sorry, there are no trains coming back on your chosen date at the moment. Please try again later. It does recognise Amsterdam as a destination though, unlike other Dutch stations not planned to be serviced by Eurostar.

What is the latest status on the starting date for direct Eurostar trains between London and Amsterdam?

  • What is your location? When I choose United States, it doesn't even suggest Amsterdam as a destination. When I choose UK, it offers me Amsterdam and even quite a few connections from London to Amsterdam (but of course none of them direct). – martin.koeberl Oct 11 '17 at 2:23
  • @martin.koeberl I'm based in the UK. Did you try dates after the December timetable change? For me it wouldn't give even indirect trains, presumably because non-Eurostar trains in NL/BE/FR aren't bookable yet, although the latter can change any day now. – gerrit Oct 11 '17 at 10:57
  • While you can't take the train to Amsterdam from London yet, you can take Eurostar to Brussels, and connect to an Amsterdam train there, so it's still a reasonably convenient trip. – Jim MacKenzie Oct 11 '17 at 14:52
  • @JimMacKenzie Yes, of course, and I've done that many times. Direct trains will be 45 minutes faster, though – gerrit Oct 11 '17 at 15:38
  • @gerrit Yes, I tried all days of some week in January. Weird that it offered me connections it didn't offer you. – martin.koeberl Oct 11 '17 at 22:40
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The situation has moved on now. The man in seat 61 has even stated a page about progress.

https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/direct-eurostar-london-to-amsterdam.htm

Basically the hope is to start trains in spring 2018 and test trains have already been running over the route. Work has stated on facilities both at Rotterdam Centraal and Amsterdam Centraal to security check passengers going to London. However exact arrangements will be subject to government approval so it may still be the case when the service starts that passengers for London will have to detrain in Brussel/Bruxelles for checks.

The article has more details albeit tentative at this stage (February 2018).

========== edit 9 February ==============

As luck would have it the day after I posted that the CEO of Eurostar rang Mark Smith (aka the Man in Seat 61) to tell him that services will start from 4 April and booking will open from 20 Feb. See his tweet here and various other tweets about the same time.

========== further edit 7 March ===========

It is now clear that although direct London Amsterdam trains will start there will be no direct Amsterdam service until passport checks can be implemented at the Dutch end. So although the trains will return they will only carry Amsterdam Brussels passengers and Brussels London. The stop at Brussels is not long enough to disembark and re-check in. More details on the Seat 61 page linked to above.

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It's definitely not on track for 2017. The most recent predictions indicate no earlier than Easter of 2018. From the Independent

  • But the article says that service starts in 2017, but regular service will be launched no earlier than Easter. Now, I don't really know what non-regular service is, but I didn't find a single direct train during a whole week in January. So I'm not sure whether the article is outdated, the system doesn't know the trains yet, or non-regular service is a train less than once per week. – martin.koeberl Oct 11 '17 at 2:21
  • Apparently Easter 2018 is confirmed by Eurostar whatever that means railmagazine.com/news/network/… – mdewey Oct 18 '17 at 14:32
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    Test services have now been seen running from St Pancras to Amsterdam twitter.com/Clinnick1/status/943387457235640320 – mdewey Dec 20 '17 at 14:57
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Several Dutch sources claim it will start from December 2017 as well.

Now, these articles are also from May 2017, and seem to be based on a quote by Eurostar CEO Nicolas Petrovic, so presumably a bit too optimistic. His plans are to start with two daily trips, and add a third around Easter 2018.

On the other hand, a 'company source' says 'regular' (as opposed to test driving?) service won't start until Easter: http://railnews.mobi/news/2017/05/25-eurostar-plans-easter-launch-to.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

I haven't been able to find any more recent information, but if they were really starting in December, they would probably have started advertising already.

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Co-incidentally The Guardian / Mark Smith (The Man in Seat 61) recently published on 9th October 2017:

Eurostar plans to start direct trains from London to Amsterdam Centraal next year, reducing the journey time to 3hr 55min. In the meantime, it’s easy to reach the Netherlands by train with a change in Brussels, in around 4hr 40min from £99 return booking with Eurostar or b-europe.com.

  • "Next year" could even mean at the start of the 2019 timetable in December 2018… I was hoping for a more precise answer. And why am I not surprised that article is written by Mark "Seat61" Smith :)? – gerrit Oct 11 '17 at 11:20
  • I didn't even notice that @gerrit although I did wonder why all the top comments were thanks to Mark the man in seat61... – davidb Oct 11 '17 at 11:45

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