Monday 04 November 2013
High Speed 1 (HS1), owners of the UK's only high speed rail line, has welcomed Eurostar's announcement earlier this week that it has signed an agreement with Dutch rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen to launch direct services between St Pancras International and Amsterdam Centraal from December 2016.
The London-Amsterdam route is the largest international airline market in Europe attracting over three million business and leisure passengers every year. With the arrival of a direct high-speed rail service between the UK and the Netherlands, passengers can look forward to an attractive, convenient alternative to the airlines.
Eurostar plans to run two services a day between London and Amsterdam with journey times of around four hours. These services will run to Amsterdam stopping at Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Centraal. In addition to providing a direct high-speed link between the UK and the Netherlands, this service will also enhance the scope for customers to connect to a range of destinations in mainland Europe.
Nicola Shaw, Chief Executive of HS1, said:
“This is exciting news and an important step in opening up London and the UK to more travel to Europe. Eurostar's announcement ensures that the UK will be part of a wider network of high speed trains across the continent, and will provide a fast, cost-effective and efficient service to customers. International rail travel has the ability to bring about real economic benefit to the UK, and will continue to be a driver for growth.”
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:
“We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations so this announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans. With over 3 million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this is one of Europe's most popular routes. Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service will greatly enhance the links between the UK and the near continent, revolutionising travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.”