Amsterdam wants to prevent the loss of the direct train connection to London for seven or even eleven months. Yesterday it was announced that from June next year there will be no Eurostar trains from Amsterdam to London for several months.
Amsterdam Central Station will be renovated and there will be no place for passport and baggage control during work. This check is necessary because Great Britain is not part of the Schengen customs area.
“This connection with London is important for the city,” said Melanie van der Horst, a member of the Amsterdam city council. AT5. “It is actually inconceivable that an important train connection would be lost for so long. Especially now that we are trying to make the train more attractive to reduce the number of short journeys.”
Since October 2020 it has been possible to travel by Eurostar directly from the center of Amsterdam through the tunnel under the English Channel to London St Pancras. Travel time: more than four hours. Those who wish to join must report to the station on time at a special desk, because passports and baggage are as meticulously checked by customs and the Dutch and British military police as they are in Schiphol.
Secretary of State for Infrastructure Vivian Heijnen wrote to the House of Representatives yesterday, but there is no room for this office due to large-scale work at Amsterdam Central Station. So the Eurostar train will not be able to leave from Amsterdam between June 2024 and (at the latest) May 2025. The foreign minister called it “extremely frustrating” that it was not possible to find a solution to the problem.
“With the ministry, ProRail and NS, I want to see if there are any ways to shorten the time,” says alderman van der Horst now.
The customs office in Rotterdam is not big enough
Rover manager Freek Bos reacted furiously yesterday. “The Secretary of State aspires to do more international train travel and we must reduce our carbon dioxide emissions. There is an alternative to flying and then we say: It’s great you can do that, but we’re going to stop it for now. No alternative. I really don’t understand. It can be planned like this Regeneration, right?”
Boss hopes the House will push for a solution when discussing international rail and trains on Thursday. There will already be a meeting next Monday between Eurostar, the ministry and the director of ProRail and Dutch Railways, which will also look at what is still possible.
Eurostar also stops in Rotterdam, Netherlands, but the customs office there is not large enough to also check passengers from Amsterdam. This may mean that travelers from Amsterdam must go to Brussels while renewing to catch the train to London.
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