Amsterdam Eurostar

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Gadget88, 14 Sep 2017.

  1. Birkonian

    Birkonian Member

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    I've been through the ticket barrier, luggage scan and customs at St. Pancras in 5 minutes. The longest it has ever taken me is 25 minutes. 10 - 15 minutes is typical. Brussels is usually quicker than London.

    Seats have more legroom than a Pendolino and you can choose where to sit. £90 return, £70 for Amsterdam.

    For me it is 1½ hours to Lille or 2 hours to Brussels. Add ½ hour and I've checked in to my hotel and on the way to a bar.

    So the problem with Eurostar is?
     
  2. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    I know Ebbsfleet exists because I was once on a train that stopped there. I also once met the Bishop of Ebbsfleet but he lives in Reading.

    My question is. Does Ebbsfleet have enough trade to exist as a station on the Eurostar?
     
  3. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Well, Eurostar have stopped there for the last 10 years (as of in a week and a half's time) at entirely their commercial discretion, so must stack up financially for them.
     
  4. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    I'll be honest here, I don't think you've been comprehending anme's posts, due to you being somewhat wound up following your disppointing experience.

    For what it's worth, Eurostar do offer tickets from London to Cologne...
     
  5. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    I've used Ebbsfleet numerous times for Eurostar, and there's normally something like 50-100 passengers each time. Would be interesting to ask if those passengers would have travelled via London, flown or not travelled at all if Ebbsfleet/Ashford wasn't available.
     
  6. 404250

    404250 Member

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    Does anyone know why the Eurostar website is showing no morning trains to Amsterdam from start of April? That means there are no Saturday trains listed and just 1 a day on other days (late departures). It was showing 3 a day on weekdays from April when I looked a few weeks ago.
     
  7. AlexNL

    AlexNL Member

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    Maybe timetables haven't been confirmed yet, and Eurostar have closed sales for those trains until they are.
     
  8. MisterT

    MisterT Member

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    The third train will run from June 2019, not April. So when you see three trains from April, you know for sure that the timetable information is still incorrect for that day.
     
  9. 404250

    404250 Member

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    Ah right. Bit of a mess up on their part then. I wonder how many people booked non running trains. Must be losing customers wanting to book morning trains in April that aren't listed now.
     
  10. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    I have traveled E* many, many times, in both old and new trains, and would have to agree with you that the level of unhappiness on this thread certainly does not generally correspond with my experiences. Have all the things mentioned happened to me? Yes, and so have they on UK domestic trains and plenty of foreign trains too. Have I had plenty of good E* experiences? Yes. Of course, if you think that E* is going to be a special Pullman type experience, and the staff more attentive than a normal inter city train, you are going to be disappointed. if you think that entering and leaving the stations is going to the same or better than a UK domestic journey, you are going to be disappointed. Such is the nature of the beast.
     
  11. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Member

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    I quite like the 374s. Find the MK3s to be worse on the Midland tbh.

    It must be quite normal, it was like this yesterday too. It's reasonably quick to get through but the line was so long it got to the travel money desk, then curved round to the walkway towards the other platforms/concourse.
     
  12. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    To be fair I think this is key to my experience. My expectations had been set by other members of this forum who always draw a comparison with Eurostar or other international railways as one that is not just better but significantly better than a domestic UK intercity journey. There is a definite sense from certain members and friends of mine that they will always frame Eurostar or other international railway comparisons to say that they UK experience is significantly below par, and therefore this creates a big gap between anticipation and reality. In addition there was the matter of price, I paid about £55 for a single and that was at least triple what I would usually pay for travelling the same distance in Standard domestically. I considered that cheap because I was expecting something of a much higher standard than usual. I now realise that these expectations were unrealistic.

    Of course, the benefit of this is that I am now far better prepared to offset the criticisms of British railway journeys that people often use exaggerated international comparisons to effect.
     
    Last edited: 14 Nov 2018 at 18:36
  13. MotCO

    MotCO Member

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    Is joining a train at Ebbsleet a more pleasant experience than joining the long queues at St Pancras reported above?
     
  14. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    When are they going to get the return E* from Amsterdam TO London sorted? Its a bit of a farce you can go one way but not the other.
     
  15. AlexNL

    AlexNL Member

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    That will probably take until 2020, because all sorts of agreements have to be reached between The Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
     
  16. bunnahabhain

    bunnahabhain Established Member

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    Eurostar are good at what they do but some aspects do fall well short and that is probably down to them having a lions share of traffic between the three capitals. It isn't really hugely different to offerings provided by LNER, the Marseille train and the Highland Chieftain have similar journey times, you get fed twice on both, and I daresay LNER are far more generous when it comes to the heavy drinks and the number of times they come around, I think last time we went to Inverness I had about twelve glasses of wine, and gin at other times too, with Eurostar you do get a nice miniature wine or two if lucky, but that's about it.

    There are good aspects with all operators, I was discussing this with a senior manager recently who was impressed with LNERs offering but felt they didn't come around as often as she would have preferred, which she felt we did well with our TOC.
     
  17. jellybaby

    jellybaby Member

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    It's probably way off topic but I don't think we should be applauding an organisation that facilitates that level of alcohol consumption!
     
  18. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    I think many people on this forum using E* are travelling on their holidays, and have a rose tinted expectation of trains of 'La belle epoch'. But E* is nothing of the sort. It is really nothing special, just an ordinary high speed train, similar to those found on domestic lines in this country and over much of Western Europe, but with the complication of security and immigration procedures. The fares are high, but this does not reflect better service than domestic trains, but the extra costs of unsubsidised track access charges, a high 'per passenger' Channel Tunnel passage charge, extra security and border control costs that are passed onto passengers.
     
  19. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    Dissappointingly, I think this plays its part.
    I think this is a crucial point which I can see much more clearly now, and probably not something that could be appreciated other than by actually using their service. Of course, there are occasional bargains to be had by Eurostar but unless you are going to Amsterdam they seem relatively to put forward relatively little in the way of discounts, offers or bargain fares.
     
  20. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Fair play!

    Off topic, but I wonder if there is a forum record for quantity of free ‘refreshment’ imbibed on the Chieftain?
     
  21. cle

    cle Established Member

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    The perception is one of glamour and so forth - rightly using in marketing and so on. And yes, sometimes stepping off the train in Paris can feel magical. Centraal station too. Brussels, less so...

    But the reality is a fairly uneventful 2 hour train journey, same as Manchester or Leeds - which many do daily or weekly, and needs to run on time above all else.
     
  22. bunnahabhain

    bunnahabhain Established Member

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    They're small glasses and it's spread over the best part of 9hrs? So what?
     
  23. bunnahabhain

    bunnahabhain Established Member

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    Dunno, the one time I got upgraded to Business Prem on Eurostar I made good use of the champagne as it was more or less on tap. A mate from work regularly tells them to just leave the bottle with him.
     
  24. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Yeah, way off topic.
     
  25. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    Based on my fairly frequent travels I would agree with your overview.
     
  26. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    If Ashford wasn't available I'd drive to Brussels or Paris
     
  27. Birkonian

    Birkonian Member

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    I'm booked on the 07:16 from London to Amsterdam on 19th April.

    BTW it could be that the £35 single fare is no more. I've seen an online advert for that fare that states 'Offer ends 20th November.'
     
  28. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    I travelled to Rotterdam on the morning train on Monday. There was virtually no queue when I arrived - I was through the check in almost immediately, and I spent maybe 5 minutes waiting to go through security - despite the short queue they opened a couple more scanners to get us through.

    I was unimpressed by the facilities "airside" - a coffee shop and a bar (doing breakfast foods), both with long queues, and a pointless little duty free/newsagent shop that was neither one thing nor the other - it would have been better just using the whole space for a WH Smith.

    The actual journey was fine, except for one thing - the train seemed very cold.
     
  29. tasky

    tasky Member

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    The main bottleneck boarding the Eurostar at Brussels Midi is Belgian exit passport control. Everyone races through the automatic check-in gates, the security check is all very efficient... then often you queue for 10-15 minutes at Belgian passport control, usually not using all the available booths. Then you have the UK entry check straight after, which takes 45 seconds with the automatic passport gates.

    That said, I use the service in both directions about twice a month and sometimes you can just walk straight through. The queues are never a problem and I usually only leave about 20 minutes to board, and tend to be left waiting in the holding area for a bit too.

    Also, it's worth saying you'll never miss a train because of the queues. Remember that everyone in the queue at Brussels and Paris is getting the same train - its not unheard of for them to hold the service by 5 minutes with the announced reason 'due to delays at passport control' or something to that effect until there is no one left. In London there are people for different trains in the same queue but they will usher you to the front if you are about to leave.

    I think overall the service is generally excellent, with the exception that the waiting area at St Pancras is far over capacity and at busy times, and the waiting area in Gare Midi has a very weak selection of sandwiches or food.

    I like both the refurbished and new trains, though I prefer the refurbished ones as they don't have televisions screens in the roof pumping out adverts for Eurostar (Why? I've clearly already bought a ticket)
     
  30. jellybaby

    jellybaby Member

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    That's something that annoys me about Eurostar at Brussels/Paris. If I'm early I want to go through security and passport control and sit down in the departure lounge now, not have to wait for the previous train to leave first.
     

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