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The Eurostar from London to Amsterdam has just launched.

Is this route built on a brand new railway track / infrastructure? Or is it simply using an exising network with updated links?

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    This would be a great question for the upcoming railways and railroads SE site... – Nick C Mar 6 '18 at 13:19
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    I don't have a source so won't make this an answer. But there is no new track, however, Eurostar recently received some new trains (e320), and these newer trains have the ability to operate under the different voltage used in the Netherlands. And have the additional capability to interact with the signaling system in the Netherlands. – skifans Mar 6 '18 at 13:27
  • @skifans Hmm, interesting. Basically I was going to give the route a try, but as it is so new I would rather wait for more guinea pigs to try in case of incidents, if it is new infrastructure (which it sounds like) – Cloud Mar 6 '18 at 13:42
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    @Cloud The new trains have been running on other routes without incident from November 2015. And while the route only opens for passengers in April. Test trains have been running to Amsterdam without paying passengers since February 2018. – skifans Mar 6 '18 at 13:50
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    I have used the new rolling stock several times both from London to Paris and from London to Brussels, and very nice it is, too! – MadHatter Mar 6 '18 at 16:15
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No. The reason it took so long for this route to appear was because the original Eurostar trains (e300/Class 373) don't support the new European standard in-cab signalling and automatic train protection system used in the Netherlands; nor do most units support the 1.5kV DC overhead electrification used on its conventional railways. However, now they have replaced many of the older trains with the new e320/Class 374 trains, which support both of these (along with the systems used in Germany, also unsupported by the original trains).

The trains use High Speed 1 from St. Pancras, before proceeding through the Channel Tunnel onto LGV Nord, then diverging onto HSL 1 towards Brussels, joining the conventional rail network just south of there until Antwerp, where it joins HSL 4 to the Dutch border, where it continues as HSL-Zuid to Rotterdam and Amsterdam (though it must use the Dutch conventional railways around the immediate vicinity of these two stations). The latest of these lines opened to passengers in 2009.

  • Wow, not sure how you put that together but thanks! Have there been any notable incidents on any of these routes? – Cloud Mar 6 '18 at 15:15
  • it must use the Dutch conventional railways in these areas, what? It doesn't take the high speed line between Rotterdam and Amsterdam? – gerrit Mar 6 '18 at 15:47
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    In Rotterdam Centraal and Amsterdam centraal (and just around those stations) it is normal rail, there is not special 'high speed rail platform' in either station. – Willeke Mar 6 '18 at 16:06
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    Incidentally, I have seen Eurostar trains do test runs on the regular tracks between Amsterdam and Rotterdam (e.g. around Schiedam), where Thalys are sometimes also seen when there are problems or work done on the high-speed line. – Relaxed Mar 6 '18 at 18:36
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    @gerrit the HSL trace joins the conventional tracks at Hoofddorp, just before the Schiphol tunnel. From there to Amsterdam CS, there is no specific HSL track. – JAD Mar 6 '18 at 20:03

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