Eurostar Amsterdam to London trains cancelled for passengers for six months - but will still run empty - EVENING STANDARD
Eurostar trains from Amsterdam to London via Rotterdam will not take passengers for six months while a new terminal is built at Centraal station in the Dutch capital, Dutch Railways (NS) has announced.
While the terminal is being constructed there won't be enough room to process British passengers wanting to travel on the Eurostar back to London.
Processing Britons became more lengthy and difficult following Brexit, with Eurostar queues forming at St Pancras Station also as a result.
Extra passport checks due to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU have previously limited the number of passengers being processed at London St Pancras, although full trains resumed in October.
At Centraal, the project to expand the size of the international terminal will involve demolishing existing facilities used to conduct passport and security checks.
Eurostar trains will run empty on the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-London route between June next year and January 2025, with passengers from Amsterdam and Rotterdam heading to London needing to change trains in Brussels instead.
Travellers will still be able to get the Eurostar one way from London to Amsterdam during this time.
An NS statement, carried by the Independent, read: "Unfortunately, we have had to conclude that despite all efforts, there will be a period in which there will be no direct train to London from Amsterdam.
"That period is expected to be six months (approximately June 2024–January 2025).
"That is very disappointing because we have worked hard in recent years to make the Eurostar to London an attractive alternative to the plane. It is a particularly difficult puzzle to solve. If there had been a simple solution, all parties would have seized it with both hands.
"Unfortunately, after various investigations, that simple solution appears not to exist.
"We have jointly chosen to take a step back in the second half of 2024 and not run a Eurostar directly to London for a while.
"The new, large terminal will be ready from January 2025 and we will have the opportunity to allow many more travellers to travel directly from Amsterdam to London."
Chief executive of Eurostar Group Gwendoline Cazenave said initially passenger services between Amsterdam and London were to close for a year.
"We continue to work on reducing the inconvenience for passengers, local residents and the economy of Amsterdam and surrounding areas.
"It is very important that all the parties involved are responsible and supportive of each other to meet the deadlines.
"Our focus must now turn to how we can offer the best experience and journey connections for Eurostar customers in this period. As part of this work, we will still run services directly between London and Amsterdam one way as a minimum."
In June Eurostar ended its service to Disneyland Paris, instead focusing on its core routes to Paris and Brussels.