Eurostar transported 25% more travelers in 2023

In 2023, Eurostar’s high-speed trains carried a quarter more passengers. The number of travelers increased in one year from 14,8 million in 2022 to 18,6 million or almost as many as before the coronavirus pandemic  – 19 million in 2019.

One of the explanations for the success was the high demand for tickets to London, Paris, and Amsterdam, the company explains. On the Brussels-Amsterdam route, the number of travelers increased by 22 percent to almost one million, while for Brussels-London, it increased by a third to 2,2 million. The Paris-London connection registered 8 million travelers (+25%).

Renovation works in Amsterdam station

The Brussels-Paris connection registered 12 percent more travelers or 3,3 million passengers; from Brussels to Germany, there was a plus 16 percent. Eurostar also intends to grow in 2024, although the railway company warns about renovation works at the Amsterdam station. However, despite the renovation works, train traffic to London will continue to run.

The terminal for travel to the United Kingdom will be closed for six months for the renovation works. During that period, a transfer from Amsterdam to London will be required in Brussels South, but a direct connection remains available in the opposite direction. Passport checks will be temporarily moved to Brussels. And travel times for passengers remain virtually unchanged.

Approaching max capacity

The Eurostar terminal at Amsterdam Central Station will be renovated starting June 15 and should be completed by the end of December this year. After that, it must accommodate 650 travelers instead of the current 250.

The number of Dutch travelers is increasing significantly – last year, the number of trips to London increased by 38% – and when the terminal in Amsterdam will be ready, that number will increase even further. From next year, 650 people in Amsterdam will be able to board the train to London daily, and another 170 in Rotterdam. This means that Eurostar is almost at the maximum capacity of the trains.

Olympic Games

The timetable to London started hardly five years ago. Back then, the frequency was two trains a day. By the end of 2022, there were already four. And the market continues to grow. That is why expanding the terminal in Amsterdam is so important.

Eurostar hopes to grow to reach 30 million passengers by the decade’s end. The company also plans to transport 2 million travelers to Paris on its various lines for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

‘Green’ train transport?

According to Greenpeace, taking the train between London and Paris over the holidays cost more than twice as much as flying. However, planes emit, on average, five times more greenhouse gases than trains…

Eurostar is partly owned (55,75%) by the French railways, and the Belgian railway company NMBS/SNCB has an 18,5% interest. A Canadian pension fund and an American infrastructure investor mainly hold the rest.

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