Amsterdam Eurostar

edwin_m

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That is a matter for the EU not the UK. They will need to have customs at the channel ports and the ports in Belgium, the Netherlands and further north where ferries from the UK arrive at continental ports in order to enforce import duties on goods made in the UK or made in other countries and imported into the EU via the UK. That is unless we get either an exit deal or a trade deal that will avoid this.
However if the EU requires it the operator presumably has to bear the cost of having customs at places they wouldn't otherwise be needed.
 
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S-Car-Go

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If the infrastructure is in place and the relevant treaty is ready for signature by the four governments then the only requirement if the staffing of the immigration posts and scheduling of the train staff and the rolling stock. I see no reason therefore why the service should not start early 2020.
I suppose so. However the direct return services can only be introduced during a timetable change, right? So that's mid-Dec for winter or mid-June for summer. The Amsterdam service was introduced in April 2018, so pfft! <shrug>
 

tasky

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Brexit (if it happens) makes no difference. The UK has never been party to the Schengen Agreement so all passengers travelling between the UK and the Schengen Zone are required to undergo Border Control anyway.
The issue in the case of a no-deal Brexit isn't to do with passport checks, but customs, as the UK would be outside a customs union. That is what the Dutch secretary of state is referring to
 

island

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There are already customs (as distinct from immigration) checkpoints at the UK arrival stations for Eurostar.

This is wonderful news! Any update on when or if any of the trains will be stopping at Ashford Intl or Ebbsfleet Intl as a result of this?
Ebbsfleet is possible as things stand, but Ashford can’t take 374s and the Netherlands can’t take 373s.
 

jfollows

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According to The Independent, the direct trains will start in December: https://www.independent.co.uk/trave...rect-brexit-no-deal-netherlands-a9121816.html
"Business Traveller" (https://www.businesstraveller.com/b...to-run-amsterdam-london-direct-from-march-31/) reports March 31st. 2020 as the start date for direct Amsterdam to London services.

Maybe.
Eurostar to run Amsterdam-London direct from March 31?
4 Dec 2019 by Alex McWhirter


One factor has disappointed Eurostar’s Dutch customers for many months.

As reported by Business Traveller, although Eurostar can operate direct London-Amsterdam trains, it cannot do the same for Amsterdam-London because the UK government has not yet granted permission.

But now, according to news from Dutch media and the website of Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (which displays rail schedules across Europe), it appears through Amsterdam-London trains will operate from March 31.

Previous thinking was to launch direct services by January 2020. But according to NS (Dutch Rail) spokesperson Hessel Koster: “We aim to start the full timetable to London from March 31.”

Deutsche Bahn displays the direct Amsterdam-London schedule from March 31.

Bahn.co.uk lists Amsterdam departures at 0747, 1346 and 1847, which would give London St Pancras arrival times of 1057, 1657 and 2157, respectively.

These timings represent a saving of around 50 minutes on existing schedules which require a change at Brussels Midi (for passengers to clear UK immigration and security checks).

Today the industry magazine Railway Gazette (@railwaygazette) tweeted: “NS CEO Roger Van Boxtel: the treaty for Amsterdam-London Eurostar service ‘is sealed but not delivered yet.’”

Mr Van Boxel was speaking at a rail conference currently taking place in Amsterdam.

Here in London, a Eurostar spokesperson told Business Traveller, “We look forward to introducing our direct service from the Netherlands to London as soon as the government has agreed a treaty to allow us to do so.

“As part of our preparations, the route has been planned within timetables as these are scheduled several months in advance. We will confirm start date and details as soon as possible.”

However the above timings provide an indication of what travellers can expect when through services to London commence.
For example: (from https://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/q...ID&externRequest=yes&HWAI=JS!js=yes!ajax=yes!)

Amsterdam Centraal dep 13:46 Platform 15 EST 9145 EUROSTAR Direction: London St. Pancras International
Rotterdam Centraal dep 14:28 Platform 2
Bruxelles-Midi Eurostar dep 15:56 Platform 3
Lille Europe Eurostar dep 16:35
London St. Pancras International arr 16:57
 
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BigCj34

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Is there any reason why a similar arrangement to what is used at the French resort towns is not used in Amsterdam? As far as I am aware there is no permanent border infrastructure in the Alpine stations so temporary staffing and barricades have to be set up every week.
 

Goldfish62

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Don't they just get off to be checked in Lille like summer South France services?
No, because there are currently no through services from Amsterdam to London, and the South of France arrangement at Lille is unsurprisingly highly unpopular.
 

cle

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No, because there are currently no through services from Amsterdam to London, and the South of France arrangement at Lille is unsurprisingly highly unpopular.
He meant the skiers.
They set up a temporary check point, as at Avignon Ville (pre-Marseille).
 

jfollows

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No, because there are currently no through services from Amsterdam to London, and the South of France arrangement at Lille is unsurprisingly highly unpopular.
Indeed it is unpopular having a forced break at Lille: I, for one, but likely amongst many, refuse to use the services that require them. I have taken the train from London to Lyon, but I flew back. I have not had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam by train, but again currently would only take the outbound service. As I say, I don't think I am in any way unique.
My logic is that if we boycott this ridiculous arrangement, then something might get done about it, and in the case of the Amsterdam Eurostar clearly this is happening.
 
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ainsworth74

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My logic is that if we boycott this ridiculous arrangement, then something might get done about it, and in the case of the Amsterdam Eurostar clearly this is happening.
Surely it's got nothing to do with any "boycott" or demand suppression by having the enforced change at Lille and everything to do with Amsterdam (and Rotterdam) being multiple trains per day to a destinations which Eurostar can be highly competitive with versus air lines? With the greatest will in the world London to Marseilles is always going to be dominated by flying (at least for the foreseeable future). When you're running three trains per day it's a lot easier to justify going to the expense doing it properly versus when it's only one per day...
 

MarcVD

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Is there any reason why a similar arrangement to what is used at the French resort towns is not used in Amsterdam? As far as I am aware there is no permanent border infrastructure in the Alpine stations so temporary staffing and barricades have to be set up every week.
The answer is in your question. Once a week, versus thrice a day.
 

MikePJ

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Is there any reason why a similar arrangement to what is used at the French resort towns is not used in Amsterdam? As far as I am aware there is no permanent border infrastructure in the Alpine stations so temporary staffing and barricades have to be set up every week.
The ski train (having used it twice now) has a temporary checkpoint at two of its three stations - Moutiers and Bourg St Maurice. Passengers who travel to Aime-La-Plagne outbound aren't allowed to return from there, they have to travel to one of the other two (Bourg, I think) to board the return train, because there's no checkpoint provided there. This arrangement just about works for a weekly service. The ski train is effectively "sealed" when it leaves the French resorts - although it makes technical stops in both Albertville and Lille, nobody is allowed to leave or join the train. This makes the border control arrangements easier - on board the train, it's effectively the UK.

The Amsterdam service operates through four countries, three of which are members of the Schengen zone. Eurostar have people get on and off at all the intermediate stops - Lille, Brussels, Rotterdam - and so can't offer a "sealed train" to the UK authorities. This problem's been solved by segregating the train into two sections - one part for the UK, the rest for passengers travelling within or between France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Until the Dutch facilities were ready, and the bilateral treaty that allows UK border control staff to work in Dutch territory was fully agreed, it wasn't possible to offer any kind of UK border control in the Netherlands - hence the need to change trains in Brussels at present. In theory Eurostar could have done border control on arrival in the UK, but immigration law now obliges all carriers (airlines, shipping and rail companies) to bear the costs of removing any passenger who arrives in the UK without appropriate permission to enter the country. Consequently, they aren't prepared to let anyone on the train to the UK who isn't definitely allowed to be in the UK.
 

BigCj34

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The ski train (having used it twice now) has a temporary checkpoint at two of its three stations - Moutiers and Bourg St Maurice. Passengers who travel to Aime-La-Plagne outbound aren't allowed to return from there, they have to travel to one of the other two (Bourg, I think) to board the return train, because there's no checkpoint provided there. This arrangement just about works for a weekly service. The ski train is effectively "sealed" when it leaves the French resorts - although it makes technical stops in both Albertville and Lille, nobody is allowed to leave or join the train. This makes the border control arrangements easier - on board the train, it's effectively the UK.

The Amsterdam service operates through four countries, three of which are members of the Schengen zone. Eurostar have people get on and off at all the intermediate stops - Lille, Brussels, Rotterdam - and so can't offer a "sealed train" to the UK authorities. This problem's been solved by segregating the train into two sections - one part for the UK, the rest for passengers travelling within or between France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Until the Dutch facilities were ready, and the bilateral treaty that allows UK border control staff to work in Dutch territory was fully agreed, it wasn't possible to offer any kind of UK border control in the Netherlands - hence the need to change trains in Brussels at present. In theory Eurostar could have done border control on arrival in the UK, but immigration law now obliges all carriers (airlines, shipping and rail companies) to bear the costs of removing any passenger who arrives in the UK without appropriate permission to enter the country. Consequently, they aren't prepared to let anyone on the train to the UK who isn't definitely allowed to be in the UK.
Presumably it would be far too complicated to have had temporary passages installed that segregated Schengen and UK passengers while the permanent infrastructure was set up in Amsterdam? Also don't known how long the bilateral treaty would have taken.

With airports there are certainly Schengen exit checks but as far as I'm aware they don't check eligibility to enter the UK? Or is that something airlines have to risk?
 

edwin_m

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In theory Eurostar could have done border control on arrival in the UK, but immigration law now obliges all carriers (airlines, shipping and rail companies) to bear the costs of removing any passenger who arrives in the UK without appropriate permission to enter the country. Consequently, they aren't prepared to let anyone on the train to the UK who isn't definitely allowed to be in the UK.
Wasn't there also a concern that with checks on arrival, someone without permission to enter the UK would board the train and then pull the emergency handle when they get through the Tunnel, open a door and disappear off?
With airports there are certainly Schengen exit checks but as far as I'm aware they don't check eligibility to enter the UK? Or is that something airlines have to risk?
You have to submit your passport details when booking a flight, and I presume these are pre-checked against watch lists and anyone without permission to enter the UK is intercepted before boarding. On boarding the passport as well as the boarding pass are checked, so this would catch anyone who's booked under someone else's name and attempts to board with their own passport. A check of the photo also confirms that the passport matches the person. No doubt the UK border control on arrival does similar checks.
 

MikePJ

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Presumably it would be far too complicated to have had temporary passages installed that segregated Schengen and UK passengers while the permanent infrastructure was set up in Amsterdam? Also don't known how long the bilateral treaty would have taken.

With airports there are certainly Schengen exit checks but as far as I'm aware they don't check eligibility to enter the UK? Or is that something airlines have to risk?
Airlines definitely check visa status at the point of departure, usually at check-in (if you actually see a real person) but always at the boarding gate - that's why they want to see your passport as well as your boarding card. My partner is Singaporean and they want to see his visa. In the case of Ryanair they actually make you go and see a check-in agent even if you don't have any checked in luggage, and stamp your boarding pass to indicate that the visa has been formally checked. You can't use your mobile app as a boarding pass for Ryanair unless you're an EU citizen. But we digress :)
 

Struner

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The ski train (having used it twice now) has a temporary checkpoint at two of its three stations - Moutiers and Bourg St Maurice. Passengers who travel to Aime-La-Plagne outbound aren't allowed to return from there, they have to travel to one of the other two (Bourg, I think) to board the return train, because there's no checkpoint provided there. This arrangement just about works for a weekly service. The ski train is effectively "sealed" when it leaves the French resorts - although it makes technical stops in both Albertville and Lille, nobody is allowed to leave or join the train. This makes the border control arrangements easier - on board the train, it's effectively the UK.

The Amsterdam service operates through four countries, three of which are members of the Schengen zone. Eurostar have people get on and off at all the intermediate stops - Lille, Brussels, Rotterdam - and so can't offer a "sealed train" to the UK authorities. This problem's been solved by segregating the train into two sections - one part for the UK, the rest for passengers travelling within or between France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Until the Dutch facilities were ready, and the bilateral treaty that allows UK border control staff to work in Dutch territory was fully agreed, it wasn't possible to offer any kind of UK border control in the Netherlands - hence the need to change trains in Brussels at present. In theory Eurostar could have done border control on arrival in the UK, but immigration law now obliges all carriers (airlines, shipping and rail companies) to bear the costs of removing any passenger who arrives in the UK without appropriate permission to enter the country. Consequently, they aren't prepared to let anyone on the train to the UK who isn't definitely allowed to be in the UK.
The sealed train concept reminds me of the Hannover-Berlin connection... :rolleyes: :lol:
 

island

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Wasn't there also a concern that with checks on arrival, someone without permission to enter the UK would board the train and then pull the emergency handle when they get through the Tunnel, open a door and disappear off?
They still do checks on arrival for train 9057 from Marne-la-Vallée–Chessy so that's not necessarily a reason.
 

tasky

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Is there any reason why a similar arrangement to what is used at the French resort towns is not used in Amsterdam? As far as I am aware there is no permanent border infrastructure in the Alpine stations so temporary staffing and barricades have to be set up every week.
The physical infrastructure at Amsterdam and Rotterdam has actually been complete for quite some time - perhaps as long as a year. The hold-up to direct return services has been the delay in signing a bilateral treaty on juxtaposed controls (with the uncertainty of the Brexit process being a significant complicating factor).

So that would be a reason why checks would have to take place in France or Belgium.

But as far as I'm aware on the return journey from the French resort towns people are made to de-train and Lille and checked there? Though I've not taken that journey myself.
 

matt_world2004

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I presume so. Trains ran through East Germany to West Berlin without intermediate stops. I'm not sure if the trains actually got an uninterrupted run but passengers were definitely not allowed off (not that they would want to!)
The west Berlin metro was actually controlled by east Berlin and was a source of hard currency for the east German government. It had the name Deutsch Reichban a hold over from the nazi era , but the east German government didn't change the name, because there was a fear they would lose the rights to operate in West Berlin if they did.

Someone stole a east German train and drove it into west Berlin to flee the state with their families.
 

JonasB

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I presume so. Trains ran through East Germany to West Berlin without intermediate stops. I'm not sure if the trains actually got an uninterrupted run but passengers were definitely not allowed off (not that they would want to!)
I think the DDR regime were more worried about someone getting on the train.

The west Berlin metro was actually controlled by east Berlin and was a source of hard currency for the east German government. It had the name Deutsch Reichban a hold over from the nazi era , but the east German government didn't change the name, because there was a fear they would lose the rights to operate in West Berlin if they did.
Wasn't it the S-Bahn that was run by the east even in the west?
 

StephenHunter

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I presume so. Trains ran through East Germany to West Berlin without intermediate stops. I'm not sure if the trains actually got an uninterrupted run but passengers were definitely not allowed off (not that they would want to!)
They stopped at Marienborn just inside East Germany for passport checks and issuing of transit visas, then the non-passenger stop of Griebnitzsee in Potsdam so the border guards could check no-one had snuck on board.
 

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