16 June 2022, by Victoria Séveno
Renovations at Centraal could mean no Eurostar trains until 2028
A recent letter sent to the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) by Vivianne Heijnen, the State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, criticised current plans for major renovations at Amsterdam’s main train station, which would leave insufficient space for Eurostar passengers and infrastructure.
The building plans would mean that, up until 2024, there wouldn’t be enough space to accommodate the current security and passport checks required for Eurostar passengers travelling to London, and Heijnen pointed out that the station doesn’t have the room to set up a temporary passenger lounge for the coming years.
The State Secretary has called the current renovations outlined by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and ProRail “unacceptable,” adding that the rail connection between the Netherlands and the UK is “important for the international rail passenger” as it offers a valuable alternative to flying.
NS and ProRail promise to look into temporary Eurostar terminal
Heijnen has called on NS and ProRail to adjust their plans, and the rail operators have agreed to look into options for establishing a temporary terminal. “We think the Eurostar is extremely important. It is a very good connection that is widely used,” ProRail said.
ProRail is expected to announce the location for the new Eurostar departure location in the autumn, with the company emphasising that, in the short term, the temporary terminal will be located at Central Station. Long-term plans involve adjusting the Eurostar route to travel via Station Zuid instead of Centraal. The station is set to be expanded significantly over the coming years, making it a hub for international train travel.
The Eurostar route between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and London was announced in 2016, with the direct service between the cities launching in October 2020. The new route allows passengers to travel between Amsterdam Centraal and London St Pancras in just four hours.