It’s happening! The direct train from Amsterdam to London will depart at the beginning of 2020!

For anyone looking to switch to trains for international travel from the Netherlands, we have some excellent news for you! Did you already know that you can take the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to London in four hours and 45 minutes? Currently, you have to transfer at Brussels for a customs check, but there are talks that this won’t be necessary from January onwards. No transfer = direct train from Amsterdam to London = reducing train journey by an hour = everyone is happy!

That is what the State Secretary of Justice and Security of the Netherlands Ankie Broekers-Knol said, reports The Volkskrant. But she was unsure of the exact date of when exactly this would happen.

Why does the Eurostar train to London transfer in Brussels?

With international travel, and going outside of the Schengen Zone, comes stringent border control and customs checks. This happens in Brussels as the train stations at Amsterdam and Rotterdam cannot accommodate the whole process.

According to this announcement, they will cancel this transfer at Brussels and take up the border control procedures in Amsterdam itself.

What about the Eurostar train to London from Rotterdam?

Unfortunately, the report does not mention anything about how this would affect the train that goes between Rotterdam and London. Most likely, the same direct route will be available, but we don’t have any official word on that yet.

direct eurostar train from Rotterdam to London

Why do they want to cancel the transfer for the Eurostar train to London in Brussels?

For the simple reason that they want to compete against budget flights. We know that train tickets to travel internationally have been selling like hotcakes in the Netherlands. With more people becoming environmentally conscious, it makes sense that the government would want to follow through on this. However, with the consequences of Brexit still unclear, we’re a while away from hopping on a train at Amsterdam Centraal and arriving in London in under four hours.

Currently, the trains have been running between Amsterdam and London three times a day. For one thing, these three trains a day can take the same number of passengers as 12 flights! That’s a lot of fuel saved there.

However, this is still a very expensive way to travel to London. So if they really want people to make that switch, they should consider lowering the prices as well.

What do you make of this? Will you be taking the Eurostar train to London instead (we’ve got one of our “everything you need to know” guides for this one) of a budget flight or do you need some more convincing? Let us know in the comments below!

Kavana Desai
Kavana Desai
Coping with the aftermath of her 3-year stint in the Netherlands, Kavana is a writer, content creator and editor for DutchReview. Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature (she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism). In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon.
  1. It’s deeply misleading that “this is still a very expensive way to travel to London.” I regularly take the Eurostar and normally pay about €100-120 for the return (including to Utrecht), which just requires booking a couple of months in advance. Sure, flights can be less than this (half perhaps), but then factor in the transfer from which airport you go to (often £20 to central London) and the actual price difference is pretty minimal. And now the time difference is too. Add in the fact that train travel is infinitely more enjoyable and comfortable than a flight. And this is even without factoring in the ACTUAL COST to the environment, which sadly we’re too shortsighted at the moment to factor in.
    But, as this writer shows, the myth that the Eurostar is expensive persists and appears to be a reasonable excuse that keeps people thoughtlessly jumping on flights… Oh well.

  2. Don’t forget you have to arrive at the train station more than an hour ahead of time to go through controls etc. The controls in Brussels were horrible it was like going to small airport….standing room only. Also the same in London for the return….more like a cattle corral. I do like Rail travel but I have have flown most of the time to London from Schiphol. The direct train to London from Amsterdam is supposed to start now around March 31 2020. I have already received an email from Eurostar about this….it is imminent. I am sure KLM has put pressure on the government to delay this as long as possible…they are used to a monopoly environment….like when they complained that budget airlines were stealing their business….uh, yeah…duh!


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