Friday, September 27, 2013

Eurostar eyes London-Amsterdam HSR

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Eurostar on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 announced it had signed an agreement with Netherlands Railways (NS) "to launch direct services between London and Amsterdam from December 2016."

Eurostar said the move is "part of a package of measures to enhance the services on the Dutch high speed line and will be ratified by the Dutch Parliament over the coming months. The Eurostar service will feature its new e320 trains, which will be interoperable and will be compatible with the Dutch high speed signaling systems."

Since becoming a standalone company in 2010, Eurostar says, it has sought to expand its service territory, including the addition of trains serving the Swiss Alps and southern France. "We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations so today's announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans," said Eurostar CEO Nicolas Petrovic.

Eurostar plans to run two services a day between London and Amsterdam with journey times of around four hours. These services will run via Brussels, Belgium to Amsterdam, also stopping at Antwerp, Belgium, as well as Rotterdam and two stops in the Amsterdam area, Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Centraal.

Launched in 1994 as a collaborative effort involving French and Belgian national railways and a subsidiary of Britain's London and Continental Railways, Eurostar established high speed rail service linking London, Paris, and Brussels.