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.
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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.
"This is a milestone in rail travel," the train manager just said. You're damn right it is.
And we're off! Almost exactly on time: a 6.49am departure (two minutes late, but I'll forgive it).
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.