Eurostar’s Amsterdam to London train service will be suspended for up to 11 months starting next year.
This is due to renovation work on the Dutch capital’s main railway station. The work at Amsterdam Centraal station will reduce the space available for carrying out post-Brexit security checks.
The works will take place from June 2024 to May 2025. During this time, there will be no direct cross-channel rail services to Amsterdam.
Why are Eurostar’s Amsterdam-London trains being suspended?
During the works at Amsterdam Centraal, there will be a lack of space to complete passport and luggage checks for the Eurostar’s London service.
This means the four daily services that run from Amsterdam to London would not be able to carry out post-Brexit security checks.
Plans to temporarily relocate security facilities have not worked out.
However, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure hopes it can speed up the completion of the new Amstelpassage, which will see the Eurostar terminal relocated to a passage beneath the station.
Originally slated for completion in spring 2025, the terminal could be partially open by late 2024. This would reduce the closure time from 11 to seven months. Evvel the passage is complete, it will more than double capacity for departures to the UK.
What are the alternatives for travel between Amsterdam and London?
In the absence of a direct Eurostar service between Amsterdam and London, it is likely that passengers will turn to flights to make the journey.
“I am aware that this outcome has a negative impact on the passengers and the ambition to replace short-haul flights with trains,” Vivianne Heijnen, Minister for the Environment, said in a letter to Parliament last week.
Amsterdam Centraal can currently process up to 250 passengers per train for Eurostar’s service to London.
The Eurostar could still run to Rotterdam – 40 minutes from Amsterdam on local train services. However, this station has a lower capacity of 160, which could make it an unviable alternative.
The works at Amsterdam Centraal are set to improve comfort, safety and connectivity for passengers, according to Heijnen. A longer-term plan seeks to move the international terminal to Amsterdam Zuid, south of the city, by 2036.
If you are still keen to travel by train, you can connect with Eurostar and other cross-country train services in Paris or Brussels. The recently launched European Sleeper offers a service from Brussels to Amsterdam.
How has Eurostar been impacted by Brexit?
This week, Eurostar will end its services from London to Disneyland Paris due to Brexit-related red tape.
Since the UK left the European Union, train stations receiving services from London have had to introduce passport and baggage checks. This requires additional staff, time and space in stations.
With implementation of the EU Entry/Exit System (EES) delayed and limited capacity at terminals across Europe, Eurostar has been rolling back services from the UK.
In 2022, the operator’s peak capacity dropped by 30 per cent due to Brexit border checks.
If trains to the Netherlands are cut, Eurostar’s UK services will only reach Lille, Paris and Brussels.