From June 2024, there is no direct train between the Netherlands and London for up to 11 months.

From June 2024, there is no direct train between the Netherlands and London for up to 11 months.

Eurostar, the high-speed train connecting the Netherlands with the United Kingdom, will no longer be able to travel to the Netherlands from June 2024. Eurostar reports this to Treinreisiger.nl. According to Eurostar, as many as 21 more flights are needed due to the strict measure. So the operator sounds the alarm.

The station has been repaired

A Eurostar spokesperson told Treinreisiger.nl: “We have heard worrying reports that our train will not be able to travel to Amsterdam from June 2024.” The existing station of the high-speed train will be renovated, and initially no replacement will be available. However, passengers are not allowed to board the train until their passport has been checked at the station and they have gone through a security check.

The current plant must close its doors in June 2024 due to work, Foreign Secretary Vivien Hagen wrote to the House of Representatives. A new terminal at Amstelpassage in Amsterdam Central should offer a solution, but it will only be operational between January and May 2025. The foreign minister is also not happy with the situation and has asked an outside party to investigate. “The outsider has come to the conclusion that there is no (easy) optimal solution possible,” Heinen wrote.

Solution

There really is no simple solution, but there is a complex one. This is evident from the draft final report of the second opinion in the hands of Treinreisiger.nl. The researchers considered three scenarios, one of which (option A) continued using the existing station. “Option A is technically very complex, but it does not seem unsolvable,” the researchers wrote. However, trains cannot temporarily run at different times due to work. “Safety problems with contractors are complex, but they do not appear unsolvable,” the researchers wrote in the second opinion.

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Eurostar would have liked the Foreign Minister to choose this option. NS International was also initially in favor of this. The carrier indicates that passenger flows can be separated using other methods. But ProRail has a different view on this matter. According to the railway manager, this is not possible from a safety point of view. Secretary of State Heijnen: “After external testing and follow-up talks between safety experts from NS and ProRail, it has been jointly decided to drop this variant.”

Not even from Rotterdam

Shortening the train to Rotterdam is not an option. “Then only 160 passengers can board the train, while our train can take 900,” explains a Eurostar spokesman. As a result, the train could not be operated commercially to cover costs. By the way, Eurostar is already operating half empty from Holland, because there is room for up to 265 passengers in Amsterdam. With train passengers from Rotterdam, a maximum of 420 passengers can board our country. Fill the empty seats in Belgium.

Eurostar is not satisfied with the current situation. “We recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of the train service between London and Amsterdam. In that period, the number of train passengers has grown significantly, ”says the Eurostar spokesperson. He noted that the number of trains has been increased from two to four. “We would like to introduce a fifth train in March.” Given the current developments, it is very doubtful what If this will continue.

consultation

On Monday, talks will take place between Eurostar, ProRail and the Ministry of Infrastructure. Insiders told Treinreisiger.nl that no decision had been made for a long time. “This bottleneck has been known for four years, but no one is banging their fist on the table and making real choices,” says one of the people involved.

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Eurostar points out that the train is very sustainable, and that if the train didn’t run, more people would fly. “The number of passengers on our trains is equal to 21 trips.” However, according to the Secretary of State, the four trains are currently used by about 2,000 passengers per day.

From the plane

The Council of Ministers has previously drawn up an action plan to transfer passengers from the plane to the train. Expectations were high especially for the direct train to London. After all, there are 50 flights per day on the Amsterdam – London route. The train could change that, just as Eurostar was able to do before with the launch of the London-Paris train service. But this process takes a long time. “In 2018 the first train ran from London to Amsterdam, and only two and a half years later it could go the other way. Now that we can take the train after years of waiting and its popularity is growing, they will soon be back to square one,” says editor Hildebrand van Kuijeren from Treinreisiger.nl.

This post was last modified on Jun 2, 2023 at 6:58 PM

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