Amsterdam should become a full-fledged European hub for train travel across Europe by 2025. So says the top woman of the Eurostar Group, Gwendoline Cazenave, in an interview with the Dutch news agency ANP. An additional Eurostar train and a redevelopment of Amsterdam Central Station should contribute.
Currently, four trains depart daily from Amsterdam for London. Eventually, the Eurostar Group, which includes Thalys and Eurostar, wants to add a fifth train.
5th direct train
That train should start leaving earlier, making it more attractive for business travelers. For example, you can leave earlier now on a Thalys, with 14 daily trains between Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris, but then you must change trains in Brussels-Midi.
Another obstacle is the layout of the Amsterdam-Central Station. Currently, 200 people can board a Eurostar train, while eventually, there should be 600 – the capacity of a train is 900 passengers. The fact that boarding is limited is due to the size of the terminal where passport checks are carried out. Plans are now on the table to modify the terminal.
All modifications are expected to be completed by 2025. Once those obstacles are behind, the target of 30 million travelers a year could be reached, Cazenave says, because Eurostar and Thalys are currently back to pre-corona crisis capacity.
Moreover, by the end of the year, Thalys will disappear from the rails, the result of a merger with Eurostar. From then on, passengers will also travel on a Eurostar train to Brussels and Paris, where a Thalys train currently operates.
Channel Tunnel capacity expanded
Getlink, the operator of the Channel Tunnel between France and Britain, has also increased rail capacity since February thanks to new technology. Up to a thousand trains a day can now pass through the tunnel.
The new technology improves the stability of the electrical network, especially at peak times. As a result, Eurotunnel, the Getlink division that operates the tunnel, can allow up to 16 trains at a time (eight in each direction) in the Channel Tunnel. Until now, there were six in each direction.
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