The train on platform 1 is for Amsterdam and Frankfurt
It seems to have taken three years since the test train ran in 2010 to take this decision which seems unnecessarily long but start it will. It is planned that the Deutsche Bahn service will operate three times a day in each direction with it taking about four hours to reach Amsterdam and four-and-a-half to Frankfurt. The trains will travel to Brussels where they will divide, one half going on to Rotterdam and Amsterdam and the other to Cologne and Frankfurt. there will be connections to other European destinations and it cannot be long afterwards that longer services to say, Vienna or Berlin, Prague and Budapest might be introduced.
It could be that at the same time this service starts, Eurostar will also operate trains to Amsterdam as well. And that will go from St Pancras as well.
At the moment ten million journeys are taking using high speed trains and these new additions could take the numbers up by 4 million. With that journey time to Amsterdam, it will still be longer than the hassle of getting through Heathrow and the flight time but it will be viable for both business people and leisure travellers. It is no longer than some London-Edinburgh journeys and faster than some cross country services both of which have flights as alternatives. Both methods of travel continue to attract a lot of passengers.
But the Amsterdam link may have another benefit but it will all come down to cost. Amsterdam has no air passenger duty. (APD) On a long haul flight that is currently £68 per person. Catching a train – which obviously has no APD tax – and then a fight might just be worth the effort