Direct train services between Amsterdam and London will be able to continue for most of the period when platforms are closed because of major engineering works, the AD reported on Friday.
A Swiss engineering company has come up with a solution which means the route will not be shut down for up to 11 months from next year, Eurostar chief executive Gwendoline Cazenave told the paper.
The solution is currently being worked on, sources within both the NS and infrastructure ministry have confirmed, the paper said.
In June, transport minister Vivianne Heijnen announced that Eurostar services would stop, possibly for as long as 11 months, when some of the renovation work at the Dutch capital’s main railway station is undertaken.
That announcement was slammed by rail users and city officials and brought Cazenave to The Hague for an emergency meeting with officials.
Shortly afterward it was decided to bring in a consultancy to “explore solutions allowing Eurostar to continue to offer a direct service between Amsterdam and London”, Eurostar said. “This consultant will perform an independent audit and submit solutions to all stakeholders.”
Direct services between the two cities started five years ago and there are currently four trains a day.
Rotterdam would not be an acceptable alternative for the terminus, Cazenave said.
“Amsterdam is by far our most important market within the Netherlands,” Cazenave told the AD. “The number of passengers has doubled since 2019 before coronavirus hit. We are not yet at full capacity and we want to expand from four trains a day.”