The service is set to be suspended for 6 months from June 2024.
Eurostar’s Amsterdam to London train service will be suspended for 6 months starting next year, down from the year's suspension that had been originally feared.
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.
This means Eurostar's Amsterdam to London trains will be suspended from June 2024 to January 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.
Plans to temporarily relocate security facilities have not worked out.
A statement by Dutch Railways said: “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 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.
A new terminal will be built during the closure which, the statement said, will "allow many more travellers to travel directly from Amsterdam to London. In this way we make Eurostar an even more attractive alternative to the plane for many more travellers.”
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, previously said.
Amsterdam Centraal can currently process up to 250 passengers per train for Eurostar’s service to London.
Passengers travelling to London from Amsterdam and Rotterdam during the suspension will need to connect from intercity trains to the Eurostar network in Brussels. 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?
Earlier this year, Eurostar ended 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.