The First Eurostar Train To Amsterdam Left London This Morning
The first passengers on the new Eurostar service from London to Amsterdam have departed on its maiden voyage.
The service left St. Pancras on time at 8:31am and will arrive in Amsterdam three hours and 41 minutes later.
This means that the lucky folk who have set off today will be in the coffee shop by the early afternoon. Not a bad life if you can get it.
There is going to be two services a day starting today, with one leaving in the morning and one in the evening (5:31pm).
It calls at Brussels and Rotterdam on the way through but it's likely that direct services will happen in future, meaning it will be much shorter.
The Eurostar company is hopeful that it will take some of the business away from the low cost airlines that are currently flying there.
The problem is that the flights are much cheaper and take a bit less time - although there isn't a lot in it, and getting on the train is much better than flying anyway.
When the route was announced, Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: "The launch of our service to the Netherlands represents an exciting advance in cross-Channel travel and heralds a new era in international high-speed rail.
"With direct services from the UK to the Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the UK and three of Europe's top trading nations.
"Our new route marks the culmination of the extensive investment in high-speed rail on both sides of the Channel."
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Eurostar said: "The launch of the London to Amsterdam service marks a historic milestone in the expansion of international high-speed rail travel, revolutionising the connection between these important destinations."
There are currently a couple of kinks that need ironing out like an agreement between the UK and Netherlands governments about passport checks at the various borders that the train must pass through.
This means that if you've got a return journey you'll currently have to change on the way back at Brussels, so maybe keep your wits slightly about you for that part of the journey back.
But they're not the only ones who are arguing about that sort of thing just now and it should be resolved by 2019, one way or the next.
However, you can still travel before then and go on a weekend sesh in Amsterdam.
Perhaps even for the weekend of the 20th April, eh?
One way fares currently start at about £35, which isn't too bad - it might even be cheaper than some flights you could get.
For not a great deal of cash, you could be blazing a trail to Amsterdam before you know it.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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