By Keith Fender
EUROSTAR launched its new direct service to Amsterdam and Rotterdam on February 20, running an inaugural train in the timings of one of the two planned daily services.
When regular services begin on April 4 these will be the first direct trains connecting the UK and the Netherlands.
The train, with invited guests and the media on board, was formed of unit Nos. 374031 and 374032, which were delivered to Eurostar in 2017.
The final seven Class 374 trains ordered (Nos. 374021-034) have been delivered with signalling systems for the Dutch network pre-installed. All but the last train (Nos. 4033/34) are now in service.
Two trains will leave St Pancras International at 08.31 and 17.31, arriving in Rotterdam three hours one minute later, and taking another 40 minutes to reach Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam trains will be timed for 1hr 48min non-stop
between London and Brussels – the fastest timing on that route. Initially, at least, the trains will not serve Antwerp or Amsterdam Schiphol airport.
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