Eurostar is to start running the first ever direct train service from London to Amsterdam, shaving an hour off the current journey time.
Currently, customers who have booked a journey to the Dutch capital are required to change trains in Brussels, leaving the Eurostar service for a regional train which takes them the rest of the way – a journey which usually takes around 4 hours and 45 minutes.
However, from 4 April a direct route will whisk passengers from London St. Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal in 3 hours and 40 minutes, calling at Brussels and Rotterdam on the way, Reuters reports.
The 186mph high-speed service will also knock 17 minutes off the current travel time between London and Brussels, transporting passengers to the Belgian capital in 1 hour and 48 minutes.
The Amsterdam service will not be entirely seamless, however. Passengers will still have to change trains at Brussels-Midi station on their return journey, as Amsterdam Centraal does not yet have the border control facilities needed for travel to the UK, which is outside the Schengen zone.
However, Eurostar says that this interruption will be a “temporary measure”. An agreement between the British and Dutch governments to open passport control points at Amsterdam and Rotterdam should be in place by 2019, Politico reports.
Trains will run from London twice daily at 8.01am and 5.31pm, while return journeys on the Brussels-London service run up to ten times per day.
Tickets for the new service will go on sale on 20 February, with prices starting from £35 one-way.