Eurostar, the cross channel high speed rail service linking the United Kingdom with mainland Europe, today announced that its new direct route from London to Amsterdam will launch on Wednesday 4 April.
Extensive preparations have been taking place in advance of the service with comprehensive testing on the new Dutch high-speed network now being finalised.
Eurostar says the route is the result of "extensive investment" of £1 billion in high-speed rail on both sides of the English Channel.
Eurostar says the connection at Brussels is a temporary measure until the British and Dutch governments reach an agreement to allow passport checks to be conducted on departure in the Netherlands.
At two hours and 15 minutes, the London to Paris journey is much quicker than the London to Amsterdam route.
Ahead of the start of services on April 4, an inaugural service will run on February 20.
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"We're very excited", Eurostar Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Petrovic said in a phone interview. That compares to 70 direct flights daily from London to Amsterdam, for example.
"The launch of the London to Amsterdam service marks a historic milestone in the expansion of worldwide high-speed rail travel, revolutionising the connection between these important destinations", the company said.
"Over the last twenty-three years, the market for travel between London and Paris has more than doubled as customers increasingly choose high speed rail over plane", the company said in a statement. Eurostar expects this will be completed by late 2019. Passengers traveling in one direction, from Amsterdam to London, will also have to disembark at Brussels for passport and security checks.