The ever-popular Eurostar train route from Amsterdam to London will temporarily stop running from June 2024 to May 2025 at the latest. The reason? You guessed it, construction.
The renovations at Amsterdam Central Station make it impossible to have room for passport and luggage control when boarding the train, according to the NOS.
Given that the Eurostar functions the same way as a flight in terms of security, these checks are necessary for the train to run.
Currently, four Eurostar trains are running from Amsterdam to London daily. It is one of the company’s most successful and profitable routes, as it connects two major European cities.
And yet, Eurostar has cancelled not only this route but all of its connections with the Netherlands. Eurostar has not announced the reason for this decision.
State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen of Infrastructure reports to the House of Representatives that it’s “very disappointing” not to have a ready solution for this problem.
Further, Amsterdam alderman Melanie van der Horst tells AT5, “It is actually inexplicable that such an important train connection is lost for so long. Especially now that we are trying to make the train more attractive to reduce the number of short flights.”
How sick.— amsterdam_bill (@amsterdam_bill) June 3, 2023
For 11 months no Eurostar train from Amsterdam to London, because passport control office has been temporarily be removed.
Simple solution: Organize departure from Rotterdam Central Station.
Or is simple too difficult for Dutch Railways (NS)? https://t.co/hqDdO43wHF
On top of that, this cancellation means that up to 21 more flights from Schiphol per day would be necessary.
So what can we do now? One of the options is to transfer to Brussels. This is one of the only alternatives if Eurostar cuts all its train connections in the Netherlands.
However, if these ties are not cut, some have called for a train to run from Rotterdam rather than Amsterdam. Eurostar is looking into this option but doesn’t seem enthusiastic, presenting multiple reasons it might not work.
The first is that although their route between Amsterdam and London is one of their most profitable, this wouldn’t be the case for Rotterdam. According to the Ministry of Transport and Water Management, this is because the “market is concentrated in Amsterdam”.
Another issue is that the customs office at Rotterdam Central Station can handle up to 150 passengers, while Amsterdam Central can handle up to 250. The train can hold up to 900 passengers, so without those boarding in Amsterdam, the train would be too empty.
This also explains why Eurostar isn’t too keen on having the train run from Rotterdam to London. Rotterdam Central Station doesn’t have the capacity for more inspections of passports and luggage, so it can’t make up for those not boarding from Amsterdam.
Meetings for further steps
As of June 5, Eurostar CEO Gwendoline Cazenave is coming to the Netherlands to discuss further options with the Ministry, ProRail, and the NS.
After that, a meeting will be held on Thursday (June 8, 2023) in the House of Representatives to discuss other options, according to the NOS.
Have you ever taken the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to London? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!