Rail service improvements and disruptions

09.07.20

New possible Eurostar direct travel from Amsterdam to London

Following new agreements being signed earlier this week (July 7th) a direct high-speed train service from Amsterdam and London could be a possibility later this year.

In order for these services to operate, existing agreements between the UK, France and Belgium signed in 1993 have been changed to include the Netherlands.

Representatives from all four countries signed the treaties at a ceremony in Brussels.

The Home Office-led treaty concerning Frontier Control arrangements encompasses the existing model of ‘juxtaposed border checks’ to the Netherlands, whereby passengers are checked, prior to departure, successively by border officials from the departure and arrival countries.

This means that UK Border Force officials will be stationed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and able to carry out checks before boarding, as they already do in France and Belgium, allowing for further cooperation between the police forces of the 4 countries involved in the fight against cross-border crime.

Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, said: “As we begin to emerge from one of the greatest international challenges of our time, we’re working hard to support the recovery of international transport and tourism sectors.

“Investment in modern, convenient and more environmentally friendly high-speed rail links between major European cities will help drive this recovery so these sectors can flourish once again.

“The signing of these treaties today will enable the launch of direct return services from the Netherlands to London, which is fantastic news for both the UK and our European neighbours.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This important treaty shows that while we have left the European Union, our links with Europe are stronger than ever. It will enable vital security and immigration checks to be carried out in the Netherlands, protecting the UK’s border and providing faster and more efficient journeys for passengers.”

Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure, said: “Due to coronavirus these are challenging times, but we also have to plan for the near future. The new direct train service enables us to travel from Amsterdam to London in just over four hours. It’s fast and convenient, and without the hassle of disembarking in Brussels for border and security checks.

“A Eurostar train roughly has twice as many seats as an average airplane on the Amsterdam-London route and CO2 emissions are significantly lower. The train service to London therefore is a sustainable and competitive alternative to flying.”

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