Disruption Alert: Direct Trains on Hold from June 2024 to Early 2025
Rail travel between Amsterdam and London is set to face a six-month disruption starting in June 2024 due to a substantial renovation project at Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, the largest railway hub in the Dutch capital, leading to the suspension of Eurostar high-speed services.
Station Overhaul Impacts Eurostar Travel
The extensive refurbishment of Centraal Station creates logistical challenges, resulting in insufficient space for passengers heading to London to undergo security and border checks before boarding trains. Consequently, the direct Amsterdam-London service will be temporarily halted between June 2024 and early 2025, as confirmed by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the Dutch national railway company.
Travellers bound for London will need to change trains in Brussels, Belgium, as an alternative route.
One-Way Travel from London to Amsterdam Still Available
While the interruption affects outbound journeys from Amsterdam to London, Eurostar assures travellers that one-way trips from London to Amsterdam will still be operational throughout the six-month period. Previously, Eurostar had facilitated seamless travel from Amsterdam to London St Pancras station via Rotterdam.
Mitigating the Impact
Initial concerns suggest the renovation works, including the installation of new passport and security facilities, might extend for at least a year. Despite the shortened six-month stoppage, it remains a setback for both passengers and officials who sought to maintain uninterrupted service.
Eurostar, the Dutch government, NS, and infrastructure provider ProRail engaged in discussions during the summer to explore potential solutions. In a statement, NS expressed disappointment, acknowledging the complexity of finding a straightforward resolution.
Gwendoline Cazenave, Eurostar Group CEO, commented on efforts to minimise the impact on customers, the environment, and business. Discussions have successfully reduced the service gap from twelve to six months, with ongoing efforts to alleviate inconvenience for passengers and the local economy.
Eurostar’s Ongoing Challenges
Eurostar has faced challenges in passenger processing, exacerbated by post-Brexit regulations. Earlier this year, the company ceased direct services from London to Disneyland Paris, signalling adjustments in the wake of changing UK ambitions post-Brexit. Additionally, the announcement of a Paris to London train service by Spanish rail company Evolyn adds a new dimension to Eurostar’s competitive landscape.