Eurostar launches £35 fast route from London to Amsterdam

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The journey from London to Amsterdam will take 3 hours and 41 minutes, and to Rotterdam will be 40 minutes shorter.

More than 4 million passengers a year fly between London and Amsterdam, making it one of Europe's busiest air routes as the Netherlands grows in popularity as a key business and tourism hub.

The new Eurostar route will see two trains a day leave St Pancreas for the Netherlands capital - famed for it's weed-selling coffee shops and Red Light District.

Eurostar launches new London-Amsterdam service

Passengers are checked at the border control prior to boarding a Eurostar train at Midi/Zuid railway station in Brussels, Belgium, on March 15, 2016.

But there's one hitch in the company's current plans: The trip from London to Amsterdam will be direct, but passengers traveling in the opposite direction will have to change trains in Brussels to go through passport and security screening.

It is thought that the new trains will be a big blow for the low-priced airlines that now operate flights between the United Kingdom and Amsterdam.

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The start of services follows an extensive period of testing on the Dutch high-speed network and the construction of Eurostar terminals in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Tickets go on sale from 20 February, and - in a clear bid to give the budget airlines a run for their money - prices for a single start from a very reasonable £35.

Eurostar has three three classes, Standard, Standard Premier & Business Premier - but even in standard class, all customers get plug sockets & free wifi at all seats.

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Says Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, "The launch of our service to the Netherlands represents an exciting advance in cross-Channel travel and heralds a new era in global high speed rail". Passengers embarking in the Netherlands will travel with Thalys up to Brussels Midi station, where passport and security checks will be conducted, before embarking on a Eurostar train for London.

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