If the Man in Seat 61 is correct, and he usually is, the direct Eurostars from Amsterdam to London will start on April 30th, and from Rotterdam on May 18th. Tickets will be on sale from next Tuesday.
I saw this this morning as well, from Mark and also from several Eurostar staff.
Oh,Yay. Very good news for us living in Amsterdam.
This info was sent to anyone that registered for updates on the route and comes direct from Eurostar. Only 2 trains a day initially as the Marechaussee can't yet cope with more. Not as quick as it could be as there will be a half hour stop in Brussels.
I assume this means that UK immigration facilities have been built at both Amsterdam and Rotterdam stations? I did some Googling but wasn't completely sure.
a new Eurostar building has been erected at Amsterdam Centraal station, meaning that passengers will be able to go through all the checks there before boarding a direct service
@Andrew, yes, that is why this was held up so long, the British government's insistence that passport checks are made before boarding the train, which requires a fenced off platform with appropriate facilities for just 2 trains per day. The trains must be run as extra trains, they cannot be integrated as part of the the normal Amsterdam - Brussels service.
That is Marco's point about the "Marechaussee", that is the Dutch border service.
Thanks for the update and for the extra information regarding the border facilities/personnel!
Once the direct trains start and passengers start clearing Schengen exit and UK entry passport control in Amsterdam, I wonder what Eurostar's plan is for passengers who wish to book Amsterdam > Brussels travel on their trains.
As in, it's not a problem now, because there are no immigration checks in Amsterdam, but once passengers exit Schengen and enter the UK in Amsterdam they will need to somehow separate intra-Schengen Amsterdam>Brussels travelers from "UK cleared" Amsterdam>London travelers, as they currently do with Brussels-Lille or Brussels-Calais Eurostar passengers, who don't have to clear passport control in Brussels and have to travel in a separate car so they don't mix with UK-bound travelers.
Correct, two trains at the moment but my guess is that we will pretty soon see all three daily train direct. Their plans are to expand to four daily trains between London and Amsterdam later this year, and five daily in 2021.
I wonder what Eurostar's plan is for passengers who wish to book Amsterdam > Brussels travel on their trains.
I would venture to say that the Eurostar trains will not accept regular Amsterdam-Brussels travelers on those trains and the stop in Brussels will only be for Eurostar customers that have also already cleared immigration for UK.
I too am thinking along the lines of what Nancy is thinking.
I would venture to say that the Eurostar trains will not accept
regular Amsterdam-Brussels travelers on those trains and the stop in
Brussels will only be for Eurostar customers that have also already
cleared immigration for UK.
It's what I would have thought too, but the Eurostar already currently permits intra-Schengen travel in the UK-bound direction, i.e. from Brussels to Lille or Brussels to Calais.
It's apparently accomplished by separating these passengers into a separate cabin (car 16 or 18), ensuring that they don't mix with the UK-bound passengers, and making sure these passengers get off before the train heads to the UK. (You can see the nitty-gritty details in section 39.2 of the conditions of carriage.)
It seems like a bit of a pain for Eurostar to handle, so I would have agreed that they would have just preferred to prohibit these passengers, but there must be some reason they have continued to do it. I have found that interestingly these tickets only seem to show up on the Belgian or French versions of the Eurostar website -- if you use the US or Rest of the World versions, they don't show up.
The half an hour stop in Brussels is to ensure that all of the passengers down to leave there have actually left. Then the carriages can be repopulated by people starting their journey at Brussels.
Amsterdam to Brussels appears on the timetable summary pdf - link to current version here. These run at the opposite half of the hour to the Thalys trains.
The London-Lyons/Avignon/Marseilles trains might be of use to some as well.
The tickets for the direct trains will go on sale tomorrow.
I believe that Eurostar is required to take people from Brussels to Lille as the Thalys trains from Brussels to Paris don't stop at Lille.