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Eurostar is planning to launch direct trains from London to Amsterdam but services will not start until the end of 2016.
The train company, which currently runs services from St Pancras in London to France and Belgium, has reached a deal with Dutch railway authorities which will allow the service to start from December 2016.
The announcement was made by the Dutch government as part of a package of measures to improve services on the country’s high-speed rail line.
Eurostar will use its new e320 trains on the St Pancras-Amsterdam route. The operator is due to receive the first of these trains in 2015 when it is aiming to put 10 of them into service. The e320 trains will have 900 seats - 20 per cent higher than Eurostar’s existing trains.
The company plans to run two services a day between London and Amsterdam with journey times of around four hours. These services will run through Brussels to Amsterdam with stops at Antwerp, Rotterdam, Schiphol airport and Amsterdam’s Centraal station.
Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar’s chief executive, said: “We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations so today’s announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans.
“With over three million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this is one of Europe’s most popular routes.
“Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service will greatly enhance the links between the UK and the near continent, revolutionising travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.”