Starting in April, Eurostar begins whisking passengers between London to Amsterdam in just three hours, via the underwater Channel Tunnel, affectionally nicknamed the “Chunnel”, that already speeds passengers between London and Paris in a little over two hours.
The train trip costs less, takes less time, and kicks out less carbon into the atmosphere than the same route by airplane.
The London-Amsterdam flight time is just a little over one hour. But by the time you add in an hour or more travel time to and from the airport, and at least 90 minutes for check-in including security, your one hour flight is suddenly five. The downtown-to-downtown train trip is faster.
Eurostar trains have security and passport checks too, of course, but you’re broadly safe arriving at the station 30 minutes before departure (45 during peak times) and as little as 10 minutes for the most expensive ticket class, according to CitiLab.
Currently, the London-Amsterdam train trip takes journey to take a little under five hours, with a change of trains in Brussels. The new service will reach speeds of up to 186 miles per hour and cancel the need to change in Brussels, shaving off over an hour.
Tickets cost around £35 (US$49) one way.
The twice-daily service will depart London’s St. Pancras station at 8:31am and 5:31pm and travel directly to the Netherlands.
The return journey includes a stop in Brussels for a passport check and security screening.
By 2020, officials hope to eliminate the need for that connection by moving the screening to Amsterdam.
According to The Guardian, the new high-speed Eurostar route will lure travelers from popular cross-Channel routes established by airlines including British Airways and easyJet.
In addition to charging at least half the price of the lowest airfare, the rail service claims to release 80% less carbon into the atmosphere..
Eurostar is in the process of upgrading its trains and stations to make them more comfortable and better connected, and additional inducements to get on board.
Visit Eurostar’s website for more information.