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Rail News: Thalys Direct Lille to Amsterdam!

Rail News: Thalys Direct Lille to Amsterdam!

Old Mar 21st, 2014, 06:30 AM
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Rail News: Thalys Direct Lille to Amsterdam!

Thalys trains launch a new route soon - direct Lille to Amsterdam services - previous links required a change of trains in Brussels - of use for folks coming from London on Eurostar can now change in Lille and get a direct train to Amsterdam - one less change, faster transit time.

Services commence in April (2014).

www.thalys.com for fares and schedules and great far ina dvance ticket discounts!
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 07:11 AM
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Now just how do you figure this is "one less change" or am I incorrect that currently you change once in Brussels?
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 08:05 AM
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I still only see change at Brussels as an option. Anyway as Dukey1 points out, whether you change at Lille or at Brussels it's still one change.

Roll on Eurostar getting the right trains for non stop travel.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 08:25 AM
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Well yes a hiccup - I was talking about coming on London to Paris trains of which there are many more and do not go via Brussels - with looking for cheap fares find anything on any train cheap to Lille then get a direct Thalys to Amsterdam - if taking Eurostar to Brussels about the same.

Thanks for pointing out my lapse of explanation.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 09:14 AM
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I'm waiting for the Eurostar to continue to Antwerp and Amsterdam from London. It would be great to be able to do this direct, without change at Brussels Midi.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 09:21 AM
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It's in the works but keeps getting pushed back - some put the blame on the new high-speed Fyra Line in Holland malfunctioning so as to accommodate Eurostar trains but I don't know really what the reason is but 2015 or 2016 should be up and running.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 09:23 AM
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I guess I mean there is insufficient demand to continue the whole Eurostar train only to Antwerp - needs the Amsterdam contingent on board to make it feasible.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 10:12 AM
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"I'm waiting for the Eurostar to continue to Antwerp and Amsterdam from London. It would be great to be able to do this direct, without change at Brussels Midi."

I think there may be immigration issues with such a plan, since Eurostar can still be used to transport pax solely between points within Schengen as well as between UK and Schengen.

In fact I'm a little curious about this latest routing, involving a change at Lille instead of Brussels. No longer possible to exploit the "Lille loophole" on such a train, if I've understood matters correctly. I wonder if this is part of a trend.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 12:46 PM
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>>I think there may be immigration issues with such a plan, since Eurostar can still be used to transport pax solely between points within Schengen as well as between UK and Schengen.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2014, 10:08 AM
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I understand that the UK would want immigration control in Antwerp and Amsterdam. The Eurostar stops in Lille on the way to London. With passport check in Lille for those boarding there.

But even with a passport control in Brussels, we have to show our passport when arriving at St Pancras. This leads to quite long queues. I understand this is due to a possibility of someone getting on a train in Brussels, with a ticket only to Lille. You would not need a visa for the UK for this, nor even passport control as it is within Schengen. However nobody checks if that person gets off the train in Lille; he could stay on the Eurostar until London. Therefore all passengers from Brussels have to show their ticket and passport when arriving in London.

So maybe the can just skip the passport control in Brussels (or Antwerp) - as they do it again in London anyway.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2014, 01:03 PM
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Or the UK could join Schengen and be like most European countries and not so homophobic - saving tons of money and probably not resulting in any more terrorists getting into Britain or illegals than now. Northern Ireland border should be heavily fortified if they are really worried - a long land border with seemingly no real controls outside official checkpoints.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2014, 02:06 PM
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I guess we are lucky in Paris to go through the immigration rigamarole at Gare du Nord and just walk off the train in London (with maybe 1% of passengers being stopped by customs).
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Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 03:05 PM
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Tulips, I heard about those queue problems. (I'll bet any businesses that were stung when the Eurostar terminal moved from Waterloo to St. Pancras are enjoying a bit of schadenfreude.)Thing is, if everyone had to change in Lille, and if Schengen-Uk formalities were handled in Lille as opposed to Brussels, anyone boarding in Brussels would have to alight in Lille as well and would have to reboard showing passport to say nothing of appropriate ticket in Lille. That to me would seem to close the loophole. But as I said, I may not have a full understanding of the whole thing. I do recall reading that the UK was struggling to use their border staff efficiently, and having multiple intermediate points to patrol per Patrick's observation would not be cheap.
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