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The direct train from Amsterdam to London will officially start running on April 30th

The direct train from Amsterdam to London will officially start running on April 30th, NS and Eurostar announced on Tuesday. The direct connection from Rotterdam to London will follow on May 18th. Tickets go on sale from February 11th and will start at 40 euros, the rail companies announced.

The first train from Amsterdam to London departed from the Dutch capital at 7:48 a.m. on Tuesday morning, in the presence of NS CEO Roger van Boxtel, Eurostar CEO Mike Cooper, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management, and State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security.

High speed trains have been running directly from London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam since 2018. But the other way around, passengers still had to change trains in Brussels. Without this transfer, the journey from Amsterdam to London will take just over 4 hours - about an hour faster than with the stop in Brussels. From Rotterdam to London will be around 3.5 hours. 

The shorter travel time makes the train a good and more sustainable alternative for flights to London - the most popular destination flown to from four of the five Dutch airports. According to NS, the Eurostar train between London and Amsterdam emits 80 percent less CO2 per passenger than a comparable flight. Initially two direct trains will run from the Netherlands to London per day. NS hopes to increase that to five trains per day by 2021.

"The direct connection makes the train journey to London easier and especially faster. Checks in Brussels will no longer be necessary, that will quickly save travelers an hour of travel time. That way the train really becomes a fully-fledged alternative to aircraft," Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen said.

NS CEO Van Boxtel is excited to get this new route up and running. "Brexit or not, London will come closer from 30 April," he said. "The sustainable train is the future and brings Europeans together."

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