I've booked (through Eurostar, as a single ticket) a train trip from Amsterdam to London with a transfer in Brussels. The first leg is on Thalys, the second on Eurostar. The ticket leaves about 45 minutes to transfer in Brussels.

The email I got after booking says to arrive at the station 90-120 minutes early(!), I guess for passport control. But I've taken Thalys to Paris a number of times, obviously without passport control, and without any extra time at the station compared to any other train.

What checkin procedure should I expect here? Do I need to do anything special in Amsterdam before boarding the Thalys? Or am I safe arriving 15 minutes early in Amsterdam, but will need to hope I make it through checks in 45 minutes at Brussels?

  • 3
    London is outside of Schengen, while Paris is not, so the procedure is quite different. Eurostar has a boarding procedure with luggage scan, passport check, ... I don't think anything special will happen in Amsterdam, as it's not a train that leaves the Schengen Area
    – njzk2
    May 8, 2023 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


Just like when you have a direct Amsterdam to London Eurostar train, the check in closes 30 minutes before the train leaving Brussels.
The Thalys trains and Eurostar trains use the same part of the station so walking time should not be that long.

I recently did this journey the other way round and it is doable, but you will not have any spare time at Brussels. If your Thalys train is running late, speak to train staff for advice.
Last week they were working on the connections between the platforms and with the Eurostar check in you need one particular entry anyway, so your position in the train can make it easier or harder.

In Amsterdam you may have to show your ticket getting on the train but that is all, no special checks. But 15 minutes does not leave you any margin if you miss your transport to the station. I would plan to arrive earlier, I mostly arrive at least one train earlier in Amsterdam Centraal.
Check-in times for Eurostar trains, what is the actual minimum time? for the actual closing times for the gates.

I recently went direct from Amsterdam to London and with a change of trains on the way back in Brussels, so I did not have to check in at Brussels, just like you do not need to check in at Amsterdam.


An update after the trip: things went as described in the accepted answer. The Thalys from Amsterdam was a normal Thalys with no controlled gate. In fact, it ended up delayed 30 minutes, arriving in Brussels 15 min before the Eurostar was scheduled to leave. There were enough passengers making the same connection as I was that they delayed the Eurostar to keep the immigration control open and let us all through.

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