Eurostar plans to offer a direct route from London to Amsterdam before the year is up. You can already use the service to get to the city now, but you need to change to a different, albeit high-speed, train to get to either Rotterdam or Amsterdam. The new service will go direct in little under four hours and there will be two trains per day.
So why get the train? Well, airports and aeroplanes are a pain. You will be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't find air travel to be a complete chore, especially as the theatre of security can easily make travel checks a complete nightmare. A train, on the other hand, is a much nicer way to travel - especially the glorious Eurostar. You get Wi-Fi, cups of tea and a comfortable seat, plus there are gigantic windows to watch the beauty of Europe whizz past.
The route users e320 trains which carry up to 894 people in 16 carriages can travel at speeds of up to 320km/h. That's where the e320 name comes from, but any service that carries people from London to Amsterdam should surely be called the e420, right?
This good news follows the somewhat bad news that Eurostar has real business concerns about operating its service at all once the UK leaves the EU. Eurostar recently told the House of Lords that "[it] has benefited immensely from EU rules making cross-border rail travel easier and cheaper. If divergence between UK and EU rules were to happen, this would lead to significant cost and complexity for our business".
Eurostar employs 1800 people in the UK and 350,000 Brits were among the 10 million people the company moved around Europe last year.
It also points out that the UK moving out of Europe would have a tangible effect on journey times. "Experience suggests that removing juxtaposed controls and replacing them with 'on arrival' controls would increase journey time by 40 minutes each way." [Via Evening Standard]
Image: David Gubler via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)