Eurostar trains to launch a direct route from London to Amsterdam this April
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As of April 4th 2018, Eurostar will be offering a direct service from London St Pancras to the centre of Amsterdam. Trains will reach the Dutch destination in three hours 41 minutes – cutting the current journey time involving a transfer at Brussels by over two hours. The service will operate twice daily, with departures from London at 8.31 am and 5.31 pm, and you can buy tickets from 20th February. The new high-speed rail route is designed to compete with airline journeys to the Netherlands, by undercutting total prices, emissions and time spent on airline travel. Eurostar plans to persuade airline travellers burdened with the hidden costs of luggage and transfers to convert to greener travel by offering a single journey starting at £35. Travelling by train also produces around 80% less carbon emissions than flying, and provides a more comfortable, simpler experience. Eurostar have been working to launch the new link since 2013, and steaming ahead with the plans this year they hope to follow in the tracks of their London-Paris line which has been extremely popular since its launch in 2015. The Amsterdam line will be the last expansion under CEO Nicolas Petrovic before he is succeeded by head of Yodel UK Mike Cooper. Petrovic says: “we said years ago that we wanted to go to many more destinations and adding Amsterdam is really the final piece of the puzzle.” The new direct connection has been dubbed a ‘historic milestone’, and will use the larger e320 trains built by Siemens Germany and designed by Italian firm Pininfarina. Initially, this new service involves a change on the return journey, as getting back from A to B will mean a journey from Amsterdam to Brussels for passport checks before a connection to St. Pancras. This is a temporary measure until the British and Dutch governments come to an agreement on controlling passengers coming into England. The one-way direct line, however, is the next step in the evolution of international high-speed connections spearheaded by the Channel tunnel's express operator.