On the day Eurostar’s last Disneyland Paris train departed from London, it was reported that the trans-Channel railway company may be forced to stop running trains from London to both Rotterdam and Amsterdam for nearly a year because of housework. station in the Netherlands. capital.
Unless a solution can be found, the Eurostar network will be reduced from a total of 13 stations year-round before Brexit to just four: London, Lille, Paris and Brussels.
At 10:34am on Monday, the last Eurostar “Disneyland Express” train will depart from London St Pancras International. The direct high-speed rail line to the heart of the amusement park east of Paris has been in operation since 1996, with the exception of a temporary pause during the Covid crisis.
But Eurostar is currently ending service due to additional red tape due to Brexit. The UK government has been negotiating for British passport holders to become “third country citizens” – with a hard European Union border installed at St Pancras station for foreign passengers.
The design of the Eurostar London station never envisaged that checks would involve stamping passports – and from next year fingerprinting and facial biometrics of UK travelers arriving EU. This inspection greatly increases the time spent per passenger and, therefore, the space required.
Eurostar is limiting the number of passengers on its trains due to the sheer physical limitations of the stations.
The additional bureaucracy arising from the decision to leave the European Union has resulted in the continued closure of two stations in Kent: Ebbsfleet and Ashford International. They shut down during the Covid pandemic, but Eurostar won’t reopen them until 2025 at the earliest – after the planned Entry/Exit System for the EU is implemented.
Direct trains from London St Pancras to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille have been cancelled. The Calais-Frethun station, which serves the French port, was also frozen.
Mark Smith, the international rail expert known as the Man in Seat 61, called the end of the Disneyland Paris link “another ‘benefit’ of Brexit along with dropping visits Ashford and Ebbsfleet”.
“With increased border checks and therefore reduced terminal capacity, Eurostar is doubling the number of their core routes until the full effect of the Entry System is known,” he said. /New EU exit.”
Separately, Eurostar’s four daily trains between London and Amsterdam could be suspended for 11 months next year due to operations on the historic Centraal station in the Dutch capital.
On Friday, the infrastructure minister, Vivianne Heijnen, said the large-scale renovation plan combined with the large amount of space needed for British passengers’ pre-departure checks could mean the Lan was without power for 11 months – with the possibility of an additional 21 flights each way between Amsterdam and London.
The international train station will be demolished and not ready to be replaced. The closure could last from June 2024 to the end of May 2025.
Eurostar launched its Amsterdam and Rotterdam service in 2018 and has carried 1.6 million passengers since.
The Rotterdam Centraal is not a financially viable option as only 160 passengers are allowed on board there due to post-Brexit constraints.
From 2036, Eurostar’s operations in the Dutch capital will be moved to the less convenient Amsterdam Zuid station.
Later on Monday, Eurostar’s chief executive, Gwendoline Cazenave, will meet with the Dutch infrastructure minister – in the hope that space in the metro beneath the station could allow Eurostar service to resume in renovation process.
A spokesperson for Eurostar said independence: “We believe the Eurostar Amsterdam-Route Line is in danger of being shut down for an indefinite period from next April.
“The proposal to move the Dutch departure/arrival lounge from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is not feasible for reasons of capacity and safety. If this is the only option presented by the ministry, Eurostar Group will have no choice but to stop the Amsterdam-London route.
“This decision comes as we have just celebrated the 5th anniversary of the route, one of the most popular international rail services among commuters looking for efficient and eco-friendly ways to travel. travel around Europe.”
Stations served by Eurostar all year round
- Ashford International
- Calais Frethun