Eurostar plans to introduce services to the Netherlands in December 2017, subject to the necessary approvals being obtained for operation of the new Siemens Velaro e320 (class 374) trains on the Belgian and Dutch networks. Testing on the Dutch network is due to begin next month.
Eurostar says it would prefer immigration controls for London-bound services to be carried out at Amsterdam, although it currently seems likely that the existing arrangement used for the Marseille - London service will apply, with passengers having to disembark at Lille Europe station for 1h 15min for British passport checks.
In addition to the Amsterdam route, CEO Mr Nicolas Petrovic explained Eurostar is looking at a further expansion of services from London to Bordeaux following the opening of the new Sud-Europ Atlantique high-speed line next year.
Petrovic also outlined how the company is supporting for educational activities ranging from language teaching in schools in London and Kent through to work experience for teenagers living near the company's main St Pancras and Temple Mills operating locations in London. Eurostar says it has focussed on reducing its environmental impact through both large-scale actions such as buying new energy-efficient trains and smaller scale water conservation measures at its depots.