Eurostar Direct St Pancras to Amsterdam

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by parkender102, 13 Oct 2016.

  1. parkender102

    parkender102 Member

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    Saw this from The Man in Seat 61 yesterday regards new Eurostar service St Pancras to Amsterdam - unfortunately it's in Dutch but a cut and paste into Google Translate gives you the jist:

    https://www.ovmagazine.nl/2016/10/antwerpen-mist-aansluiting-naar-londen-1328/

    Briefly looks like morning and teatime departures from London St Pancras Monday to Saturday and similar from Amsterdam. Some Sunday Services too.

    Also featured on Seat 61 News page - due to start December 2017.

    http://www.seat61.com/news.htm
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2016
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  3. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    The saturday services are a bit crap, only 1 service in each direction and both in the afternoon
     
  4. 33Hz

    33Hz Member

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    IMHO the evening service departs 30 to 60 minutes too early both ways. If I only have one direct train I want to be able to finish the business day before taking local transport to the station to get home.

    No word on what the 30 minute inbound security check at Brussels actually means. If it's a complete de-training like the Marseilles service then forget it. I'm still not sure how they are going to manage to isolate platform 3 in Gare du Midi for 2 trains a day.

    Sacrificing Antwerp on the inbound not to lose time for this check is also a pity.
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't see how they intend to make that competitive with the many, many flights per day from all UK airports. They really need to extend all Brussels services to make it worthwhile.
     
  6. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    The German Drehscheibe forum were also discussing it, with suggestions that the London-bound train might take an "interesting" route round Brussels in order to use the existing Eurostar platforms.
    http://www.drehscheibe-online.de/foren/read.php?30,7957805,page=1

    Later edit: Thinking about it, they could
    - run in from Amsterdam via the normal Thalys route to the Brussels through platforms 3/4
    - get everyone off
    - direct the London passengers into the Eurostar security checks
    - and shunt the train into platforms 1/2 for security search and re-boarding.
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2016
  7. MarcVD

    MarcVD Member

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    Either that or routing the train via line 28 (West belt line) in order to enter Brussels South station from the south and enter tracks 1 or 2 directly .

    Envoyé de mon GT-I9505 en utilisant Tapatalk
     
  8. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

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    Some trains between Rotterdam and Brussel are 30 minutes slower than other trains. Less capacity in Belgium?!
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2016
  9. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Sat and Sun towards London only - allow for engineering works?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    To me they look reasonable for the potential business client attending a meeting - certainly from a UK perspective, and tolerable for leisure travellers too.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, ideally, but I recall how the TGV Province-Province started - with one Lille-Lyon return daily. Or Frankfurt-Brussels, which started as 3 pairs, went to 4, and is going 2 hourly from December.
     
  10. gingerheid

    gingerheid Member

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    It's not at all a good service, but then flying is a real pain and nuisance...

    Interesting that it stops at Schipol. If, in time, a more frequent service gets flight number, then Schipol will be another step closer to justifying a claim to have Heathrow's third runway.
     
  11. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Didn't the very original Waterloo-Paris/Brussels Eurostar service only start out as 2-3 trips a day? Look at it now.

    Given it will take time to build a market and demand, no point running lots of trains until you've proved you can fill them.

    The times that are proposed are a decent compromise to attract the target market, but absolute frequency won't be critical on a service such as Eurostar.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Is it? I don't find that it is at all.

    Last time I used E* I found it a far less pleasurable experience than flying. And that was in first class.
     
  13. gingerheid

    gingerheid Member

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    Well... when there were flights from Cambridge to Amsterdam flying was the most pleasurable dream in the world. Get up about an hour before your flight takes off, cycle to the airport, wait in a civilised airport where you don't have to do a forced walk though a duty free shop, and where there are seats for the passengers, and where the walk to the departure gate isn't 5% of the distance to your destination. Other than that... it's a pain. The amended Stansted is horrible and and the other airports are a pig to get to.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'll give you Stansted is an utterly awful airport in near enough every way.

    LHR T2 and T5 are now a pleasure, Birmingham is OK, Gatwick isn't terrible as long as you remember your hiking boots, and Luton will be back to "not bad" once the work is completed.
     
  15. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    It took me 40 minutes to clear passport control arriving at Schiphol last week.
    No fun at all in the snake all that time.
    Missed my onward train connection.
     
  16. anme

    anme Established Member

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    Hmm. Heathrow terminal 5 seems to me to be a nightmarish attempt to recreate an overcrowded provincial shopping centre in an inconvenient location. Terminal 2 has weird garish lighting, which is especially horrible if you're transferring from a red eye flight. I'll grant you that the Eurostar waiting areas are pretty grim too, but you're not generally in them for very long.

    Some people miss a major point about the Eurostar service between London and Amsterdam. It would more accurately be described as a Eurostar service between London, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Rotterdam especially is a larger city than Amsterdam and is well placed for connections with other large Dutch cities such as Den Haag. It's also further from Schiphol and closer to London than Amsterdam, making the journey even more competitive against the plane.
     
  17. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    To be extremely pedantic, going off municipality populations according to Wikipedia, Rotterdam has 618,467 residents and Amsterdam has 810,909.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_municipalities_of_the_Netherlands

    But the urban area is larger around Rotterdam, because it forms a continuous urban area with Den Haag.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_European_Union

    Probably more relevant is that the Randstad region has over 7 million people and comprises a large number of small to medium sized towns as well as the 4 main cities. So lots of people in this heavily populated area will not be actually in any of the main cities (proper) but be in one of those smaller towns. So a lot of people need to change at the main stations onto a local train or a metro service.
     
  18. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Having to walk miles (or it seems like it) through the duty free shopping, none of which I wish to purchase, makes Stansted a poor experience. After that hike finding a quiet seat upstairs in the 'spoons is your only salvation.

    Used Heathrow T2 for the first time this week, indeed a pleasure, once you get there from the station. T5 is excellent too. London City is fine but using it on a Friday evening is a bit cosy. Gatwick and Luton I avoid unless suitable flights dictate.

    Meanwhile I wonder if the few foot passengers left on the Harwich - Hook route will prefer Eurostar. Fortunately the route is doing well with freight.
     
  19. gingerheid

    gingerheid Member

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    I love T2. But it's a long away away (which means you need to leave more spare time), and I don't like sitting in the lovely terminal watching the delayed inbound flight do 20 laps of Middx on Flightradar24. (Now if it had a third runway, ...)

    The others... you could take the train a decent chunk of the way to Amsterdam in the time it would take to get to them...
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2016
  20. NicholasNCE

    NicholasNCE Member

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    I doubt it will have much impact, ES will never be able to compete with a £66 turn up fare: http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=1072&dest=H443&rte=13000&tkt=SL5

    I may be wrong but I would have thought most people using the rail & sail option are more price than time-sensitive.
     
  21. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    And, as people on the thread remark from time to time, there are very few airports in the UK that don't have a flight to Schipol. Even on 'classic' airways like BA and KLM, you can get cheap flights by booking judiciously.
     
  22. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    A third runway that will cost much less to fly from due to none of our rip of taxes. Greatly increases choices of routes too.
     
  23. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Or (like me) find the overnight aspect useful - particularly in East Anglia. It's a very comfortable way to travel, and you can take your bike over, too (even if that flyover to get you into Harwich port is slightly scary in the dark with a lorry breathing down your neck!)

    Leave the house after tea, jump on the through train to Harwich, have a drink and sleep in a *very* comfy berth, and be woken up by Bobby McFerrin just outside Rotterdam.

    Are the foot passenger numbers that small on this route now? Immigration in Harwich normally take a not-insignificant amount of time (although it's not exactly the heyday of this route).

    It's not quite like my other former regular ferry route (Malmo-Travemunde) where I was often the only foot passenger, delivered to/from the ferry by port van to the lorry deck.
     
    Last edited: 17 Oct 2016
  24. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    That's the only downside for me! I've taken to setting a gentle mobile phone alarm for "2 mins to Bobby" so that I'm not startled by the full volume.

    Will be interesting to see how the conversion from heavy rail to metro of the Hoek line affects the ferry passengers. Although that (I think) should be done and dusted before ES start their Dutch services, so ES probably won't gain from any regulars put off by bus substitution/disruption.
     
  25. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    I thought Terminal 3 was better than Terminal 2 at Heathrow
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Possibly originally, but the new T2 (and T5) are proper European-style steel-and-glass buildings with lots of space and lots of capacity, not overcrowded rabbit warrens like the LHR of old. A true turnaround.
     
  27. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    You can but for some people its can be quicker to get to St. Pancakes than it will to get to an airport. For me its 20 mins from my door and I cant drive to stanstead that quickly.
     
  28. ItchyRsole

    ItchyRsole Member

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    Looks good to me.

    I'd take a nice relaxing train for a few hours over a cramped back breaking seat on a plane.

    I'll definitely be using this service.
     
  29. stut

    stut Established Member

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    The new T2 is excellent (and way better than T5 - they seem to have managed to hire security staff without the attitude). Really recommend it.

    The fact that there's a Sicilian café serving chinotto and cannoli is just the icing on the cake.
     
  30. GingerSte

    GingerSte Member

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    The proposal to de-train passengers for passport/security checks at Brussels is obviously less than ideal, but if it is used for the very short term as part of a market verification exercise, I could live with it. In the longer term, though, I would prefer to see the passport/security controls done better.

    As I understand it, at least some international services use platform 15A from Amsterdam Centraal Station. I haven't been to the station myself, but I had a quick look at it on Wikipedia and Google Earth. There appears to be room between Platform 15 and the bus station to get some security/passport facilities in place.

    I do wonder if some facilities could be put in place for UK-bound passengers, with platform 15A/B "sterilised" for UK services (ie cleared after the last Schengen-area-bound train before boarding for the UK-bound train). Any separation between sterilised and non-sterilised areas could be achieved with demountable barriers, so 15A/B wouldn't need to be restricted to UK-bound trains only.

    I know that there would be many problems to be solved with this, but I would prefer to know that people were trying to solve them, rather than settling for a highly disruptive (and itself problematic) option.
     
  31. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    Only if you could do the same at all the intermediate stops, and either disallow "Schengen-to-Schengen" trips on these trains altogether or separate them into specific coaches as they already do for Brussels to Lille.
     

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