Eurostar officials met representatives from the NS and ProRail and the infrastructure ministry on Monday afternoon to discuss the government’s shock announcement that Eurostar services from Amsterdam to London may be halted for up to 11 months.
The Eurostar service requires space for passport and baggage checks, and that won’t be possible during part of the renovation work on the city’s central station next year, infrastructure minister Vivianne Heijnen told MPs in a briefing on Friday.
Eurostar chief executive Gwendoline Cazenave, who was reportedly only told about the decision on Friday as well, headed for The Hague for emergency talks about the situation on Monday afternoon. Direct services between the two cities started five years ago and there are currently four trains a day.
Eurostar issued a short statement after the meeting, saying that “all parties have agreed to keep working together to find a solution/compromise that will allow Eurostar to continue to welcome travellers in Amsterdam Centraal.”
The Parool reported earlier that one option, which would have kept trains running for most of the time, had been dismissed by ProRail and the NS, both of which are 100% state owned.
“We are pleased to continue discussions with our partners ProRail and NS in the Netherlands,” Cazenave said. “We are convinced we will together find a suitable solution to allow a direct service between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and London.”
Eventually, Eurostar services will move to Amsterdam Zuid station, which is currently being expanded. But that terminal won’t be ready before 2036.
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