The Anonymous Widower

Eurostar Confirms Start Date For Amsterdam – London Through Services

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

Points made in the article include.

  • A preview service ran on February 4th.
  • Two services a day will run from Amsterdam Centraal to London from April 30th.
  • Journey times will be around four hours.
  • Through journeys from Rotterdam to London will be possible from May 18th.
  • Tickets will be available from February 11th.

I’m fairly sure that after the success of the London to Amsterdam Centraal service, which will be four trains per day (tpd), by the end of this year and five tpd by the end of 2021, that this could be the start of something similar.

  • Five tpd would mean a capacity of 4,500 passengers or about the same as eleven Ryanair 737 Max 8 aircraft.
  • Four hours between city centres.
  • Current prices for a trip this month are under fifty pounds or under ninety for Premium Economy.

As Paris has sixteen tpd and Brussels has seven tpd, I could see that five tpd will be increased.

  • All London to Amsterdam Centraal services stop at Brussels to pick up passengers.
  • I’m sure that a method will be found to allow Amsterdam Centraal to London trains to drop passengers at Brussels.
  • If Rotterdam will get direct services, surely Antwerp and Schipol Airport should as well.
  • Thalys between Paris and Amsterdam Centraal runs at 10 tpd.
  • Thalys and Eurostar are merging and surely Eurostar between London and Amsterdam Centraal and Thalys between Paris and Amsterdam Centraal should be combined between the Belgian and Dutch capitals.

Get the Brussels and Amsterdam Centraal route right, after the merger of Thalys and Eurostar and I can see the following.

  • Two trains per hour (tph) between Amsterdam Centraal and Brussels.
  • One tph starting in London and the other in Paris.
  • Ability to pick up and set down International and domestic passengers at the intermediate stations; Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schipol Airport.

Surely, if a two tph service works between London and Edinburgh is highly successful, two tph between Brussels and Amsterdam Centraal would be the same.

The same philosophy could then be applied to the London/Paris routes via Brussels to Cologne/Frankfurt.

  • Eurostar has stated it wants to serve the two German cities.
  • Thalys runs services between Paris and Dortmund via Brussels, Liege, Cologne and Essen.
  • The Thalys frequency between Paris and Cologne is five tpd.

The London and Paris services could combine to run a joint service into Germany.

  • Destinations could be Cologne, Dortmund and Frankfurt with stops at Liege and Aachen.
  • London and Germany could probably sustain the currently proposed Amsterdam frequency of five tpd.

I’m looking forward to taking a direct train from London to Cologne.


February 5, 2020 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. The Boeing 737 MAX series has been offered in four variants, offering 138 to 204 seats (Wikipedia).

    Therefore 4500 Eurostar passengers are not equivalent to the capacity of 11 Ryanair aircraft.

    Comment by Wolfgang Maresch | February 5, 2020 | Reply

    • I was only doing a rough calculation based on 200 seats.

      Comment by AnonW | February 5, 2020 | Reply

  2. For 5 Eurostar trains you need at least 22 Boeing 737 MAX to transport the same number of passengers.

    Comment by Wolfgang Maresch | February 5, 2020 | Reply

    • You’d need a lot more, as most people wouldn’t fly in them.

      Comment by AnonW | February 5, 2020 | Reply

  3. Article in the Daily Mail suggested that trains through to other places such as Italy, Spain & Portugal are on the cards. Obviously they aren’t aware of the gauge change to 5′ 6″ when you reach the Spanish border. TGVs reach Barcelona so I cannot see Eurostar reaching beyond there. Routes to Italy, Switzerland and east Europe are possible even with the different voltages on the catenaries.

    Comment by mauricegreed | February 5, 2020 | Reply

    • Spain is building some of their high speed lines to standard gauge, as under EU rules, high speed lines must be built to standard gauge.

      Comment by AnonW | February 5, 2020 | Reply

  4. I wonder if a Rotterdam service will mean the end of the Harwich-Hook v Holland “Rail/Sail Dutchflyer” service, at least for daytime sailings; (although the ferry would continue for cars/trucks presumably).

    If you can have easy/quick single-seat travel (no changes) at broadly similar price to Rail/Sail then why would you take the longer route via ferry?

    (It would be a bit more convenient if you live in East Anglia to go via Harwich as you would not be single seat from those locations–fiddly changes through London.)

    Comment by MilesT | February 6, 2020 | Reply

  5. From today there are tickets on sale for the two Amsterdam – London trains.
    There is however a problem with those departure and arrival times:
    The first train will leave at 7.47 a.m. For tourists this means that they would have to start with their breakfast at around 6 a.m.
    before travelling from their hotel to St. Pancras. Such a departure time is too early.
    The second train will arrive at around 10 p.m. For tourists this means that they only would arrive at their hotel at around 11 p.m.
    after passport control and then travelling to their hotel. Such an arrival time is too late.

    The Eurostar managers obviously do not understand the normal situation of those tourists whom they want to be their clients.

    Comment by Wolfgang Maresch | February 11, 2020 | Reply

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