Eurostar is being forced to cancel its London to Amsterdam service for almost a year.
The operator’s four daily services each way could be suspended for almost 12 months beginning in June 2024 while work is undertaken on the Dutch Capital’s Centraal Station.
A Eurostar spokesperson said: “We have received confirmation from the Dutch government that Eurostar will not be able to run the Amsterdam route from June 2024 until April 2025.”
From 2026, Eurostar’s operation in the Dutch capital will be moved to the less convenient Amsterdam Zuid station.
Initially it was proposed that trains could depart from Rotterdam, but this is not viable due to Brexit passenger caps. The Eurostar spokesperson added: “The proposal to move the Dutch departure/arrivals lounge from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is not viable due to capacity and safety reasons.
“Should this be the only option offered by the ministry, Eurostar Group will be left with no choice but to stop its Amsterdam direct routes. Eurostar is open to compromise and is working with stakeholders to find a solution.”
Eurostar CEO Gwendoline Cazenave met the Dutch infrastructure minister and rail operators ProRail and NS on Monday (June 5) to discuss potential solutions to allow the carrier to continue to operate to the Netherlands.
Following the meeting, Cazenave said: “We are pleased to continue discussions with our partners ProRail and NS in the Netherlands. We are convinced we will together find a suitable solution to allow a direct service between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and London.
“Eurostar is fully committed to playing a role in the Dutch sustainability policy by continuing to offer a green travel alternative to its Dutch customers.”
Eurostar launched an Amsterdam and Rotterdam service in 2018, going direct in 2020, and has carried 1.6 million passengers since then.