After launching its first direct London-Amsterdam service in 2018, Eurostar is finally ready to offer a direct return train from the Dutch capital back to the UK.

The initial roll-out was pushed back several times due to red tape at the border – passengers were previously required to board a Thalys train on the return journey and change at Brussels to go through passport control.

Today marks the first preview train, which is expected to take 4hr and 9m, arriving at London St Pancras at 11.57am after departing Amsterdam at 7.48am (local time) – and The Independent has bagged a seat onboard.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Eurostar has yet to announce when direct tickets between the two cities will go on sale.

Follow all the latest from the inaugural train service below.

According to Eurostar, tickets for the new direct service will go on sale on 11 February 2020, with the first non-stop train from Amsterdam launching on 30 April, and Rotterdam following on 18 May. Tickets will start from £35 one way.

It takes me back to March 2018, when I was lucky enough to be onboard the first London-Amsterdam preview train. We had a decadent half hour in the Dutch capital - just enough time to buy a cone of chips slathered in mayo - before we had to turn around and come back. Don't ever let anyone tell you travel journalism isn't glamorous.
The train will call at Rotterdam, Brussels and London and should take about four hours. I'm sure the time will fly by, what with the complimentary breakfast and watching the sun rise over the Netherlands.

"This is a milestone in rail travel," the train manager just said. You're damn right it is.

Advertisement

And we're off! Almost exactly on time: a 6.49am departure (two minutes late, but I'll forgive it).

I'm finally onboard the first ever direct Amsterdam-London Eurostar service! First up was a trip to the brand new Eurostar lounge on platform 15 (right at the far end - don't do as I did and get slightly lost and almost miss the check-in window).

Once there, it was a slightly lengthy queue through security and passport control, but then a decent coffee and pain au chocolat in the lounge made everything better.

Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.