It doesn’t feel like all that long ago that Eurostar made a big song and dance about launching its first direct trains from London to Amsterdam. But now, after just two years, it seems the service could be put on pause indefinitely.
In bad news for everyone partial to nipping over to the Dutch capital for a spontaneous weekend break, renovation works at Amsterdam Centraal station mean the Eurostar lounge, which contains security and passport control, will no longer be available for use. No alternative space is likely to be found, according to Dutch infrastructure secretary Vivianne Heijnen.
The work is set to begin in 2024 and could put an end to the London-Amsterdam service for years. In the face of a big public outcry – and Heijnen herself describing the plans as ‘unacceptable’ – Dutch railway management firm ProRail said it would try to find a place for a temporary terminal, and that it hoped it would still be located at Centraal.
A Eurostar spokesperson said the company’s agreement with the Dutch railway would allow it to operate the terminal until November 2023. There are a number of potential options after that, with a decision still to be made. The spokesperson added that ‘there is currently no risk that will stop running this service’, but did note that it would be ‘important to quickly have a decision on the destination station in Amsterdam to assure continuity on the route’.
Back in October 2020, the Amsterdam connection was hailed as ringing in a new era of international rail travel in Europe. Here’s hoping it sticks around for a little longer, eh?
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