Eurostar confirms long-awaited non-stop service from Amsterdam to London

Emma Beaumont
·2-min read
Eurostar - Getty
Eurostar - Getty

Direct Eurostar services from Amsterdam to London will be possible later this year after an agreement was signed at a ceremony in Brussels today.

Although there are already non-stop services from London to the Dutch capital (as well as Rotterdam), return journeys still require a connection in Brussels, where passengers have to go through passport controls and security screenings.

For the new services to operate, existing agreements between the UK, France and Belgium, signed back in 1993, have been modified to include the Netherlands. Representatives from the four states signed the Home Office-led agreement, which essentially extends existing border checks. As such, UK Border Force officials will now be stationed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and will be able to carry out checks before boarding, as they already do in France and Belgium. 

After the announcement, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This important treaty shows that while we have left the European Union, our links with Europe are stronger than ever.

“It will enable vital security and immigration checks to be carried out in the Netherlands, protecting the UK’s border and providing faster and more efficient journeys for passengers.” 

The news will be a boost to a shattered travel industry, which is likely to rely on innovation and agile government as it slowly recovers. Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said: “As we begin to emerge from one of the greatest international challenges of our time, we’re working hard to support the recovery of international transport and tourism sectors.

“Investment in modern, convenient and more environmentally friendly high-speed rail links between major European cities will help drive this recovery so these sectors can flourish once again.

Certainly, the agreement will be welcomed by those who are concerned about the return of mass aviation and want sustainable solutions. Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure, said: “A Eurostar train roughly has twice as many seats as an average airplane on the Amsterdam-London route and CO2 emissions are significantly lower. The train service to London therefore is a sustainable and competitive alternative to flying.”

After shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, the direct route connecting the UK and Amsterdam will start up again on July 9, although for the time being it will be limited to just one train a day, with services departing London St Pancras at 11.04 and arriving at Amsterdam Centraal at 16.11.

All passengers on the service will be required to wear a face mask, both on the train and in the station. Eurostar has also issued an assurance that travellers will be seated at safe distances from one another, carriages will undergo a deep clean before every journey and on-board teams will regularly disinfect high-contact areas.