You'll soon be able to take a train from the Netherlands direct to London

The high-speed option will depart Amsterdam and Rotterdam for the UK capital with a travel time of four hours

A new high-speed train will take travellers direct from Amsterdam or Rotterdam to London in around four hours with tickets from Dh199. Courtesy NS
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Travellers in the Netherlands will soon be able to catch a train from Amsterdam or Rotterdam direct to the UK capital.

Dutch state-owned railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and Eurostar have partnered to introduce the new high-speed rail service that will launch on October 26.

From Rotterdam, the train will whisk commuters to London in just three-and-a-half hours. From Amsterdam, the trip takes a little over four hours. Fares start from €46 (Dh199) and tickets go on sale from September 1, with booking available six months ahead of travel dates.

Previously, rail commuters in the Netherlands had to transfer in Brussels to reach London by train.

From October, travellers can catch a train directly from Rotterdam to London with a journey time of three and a half hours. Unsplash

“The direct high-speed train takes you quickly and without hassle from the centre of Amsterdam and Rotterdam to the heart of London, making it a strong competitor for the aircraft," said Roger van Boxtel, chief executive of NS.

The train could also open up more flight options for UAE travellers trying to reach the UK, especially at busy times of the year when direct flights to London often increase in price. KLM flies direct from Dubai to Amsterdam and this high-speed rail service means it will be relatively simple for many passengers to carry on to London after landing in the Netherlands.

Coronavirus precautions

Rail travellers on NC's Eurostar direct service from The Netherlands to London will have to wear face coverings and abide by social distancing rules. Courtesy NC

The rail service's introduction was delayed due to coronavirus restrictions, but it is now confirmed it will start in October when the number of people travelling throughout Europe looks set to increase again, according to NS.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding travel, commuters will be able to make changes on their tickets up to 14 days before departure without fees until the end of the year.

On the high-speed trains, commuters must follow safety rules in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These include compulsory face masks and social distancing where possible. All trains are thoroughly cleaned before each journey, with additional cleaning in place for frequently touched surfaces.

Train travel is a viable alternative to air travel in terms of sustainability, A growing number of European countries have seen a rising interest in rail travel in the age of Greta Thunberg's 'flygskam'.

Researchers have also found that travelling on trains during the pandemic is not as dangerous as some people believe. A study by British and Chinese researchers drawn from high-speed routes in China in the first three months of 2020 used modelling to analyse the interactions of the 2,000+ "index patients" (Covid-infected people) who had used the train network during this period.

Passengers travelling in seats directly adjacent to an index patient suffered the highest level of transmission with an average of 3.5 per cent contracting the disease. For those sitting on the same row, the figure was 1.5 per cent. Researchers found that only 0.075 per cent of people who used a seat previously occupied by an index patient went on to contract the disease.