Eurostar will launch long-awaited direct services from London to Amsterdam from 30 April.
Eurostar trains already run from London to Amsterdam, but on the return journey, a normal Thalys train takes passengers to Brussels, where customs and immigration checks are performed and passengers transfer to the Eurostar.
An agreement between the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands means checks will now be carried out in The Netherlands.
The change will mean cutting the fastest train time to four hours and nine minutes. Until then, the fastest journey is four hours 42 minutes and the slowest more than six and a half hours, making Eurostar’s Amsterdam route a poor competitor to air travel.
In addition to the Amsterdam service, trains will stop at Rotterdam from 18 May and tickets to both destinations will be available from 11 February.
Eurostar claims travelling by train between London and Amsterdam will result in an 80% reduction in carbon emissions per passenger when compared to air travel.