Eurostar is one of my favorite rail lines, connecting London, England with Brussels, Belgium and Paris, France in less time than it takes to fly (after accounting for check-in, airport security, boarding, deplaning and ground transport to the city center). Beginning April 4th, Eurostar will expand its high-speed rail map to include direct service between London and Amsterdam, Netherlands. The journey of 3 hours, 41 minutes will also include a stop in Rotterdam.
With Eurostar being one of the world’s most wheelchair accessible rail services, travelers with disabilities will have a new way to reach the Netherlands that is free from the hassles of flying or making connections.
While the British and Dutch governments work out an agreement for immigration processing, customers traveling the route in reverse—from Amsterdam to London—will need to make a connection in Brussels. Passengers will begin their journey on a Thalys train in Amsterdam, clear immigration and security in Brussels, and transfer to the Eurostar train. As a result, the return journey will take longer—anywhere from 4 hours, 40 minutes to 4 hours, 49 minutes when selecting the most efficient schedules. The governments expect to have a final agreement in place by the end of 2019 which will remove the necessity of a connection on the return journey.
Eurostar is now accepting reservations on its website at www.eurostar.com, with tickets starting at just £35 (~$49 USD) each way. As I have written before, the wheelchair accessible seating spaces on Eurostar trains are located in the Standard Premier and Business Premier cabins. The price of tickets for wheelchair users are set at the lowest available ticket cost, meaning a wheelchair user could pay the £35 for standard class but sit two classes higher in Business Premier! This is an outstanding deal for travelers with disabilities and one that I have not seen matched by any other rail operator in the world.
On-board accessibility is excellent, with ample room to park both manual and powered wheelchairs. The restrooms are also large enough to accommodate different types of wheelchairs. With attentive service in the Standard Premier and Business Premier cabins, wheelchair users are definitely looked after well.
I have always enjoyed riding Eurostar between London and Brussels or Paris and am eager to test the new service to Amsterdam when it launches in April.
For more information or to book tickets, visit www.eurostar.com.
Feature image courtesy of Eurostar.