Baron, France - July 29, 2020: A Eurostar e320 high speed train is driving from Paris to London on the LGV Nord, the North European high speed railway line, in the french countryside.

Eurostar passenger numbers returning to pre-Covid levels

Baron, France - July 29, 2020: A Eurostar e320 high speed train is driving from Paris to London on the LGV Nord, the North European high speed railway line, in the french countryside. Shutterstock

While Eurostar transported 19 million passengers in 2019, the coronavirus pandemic led to a significant decrease in travel across the globe. On Wednesday, the company announced having transported 18.6 million passengers in 2023, almost reaching pre-pandemic levels. Attendance has increased by 22 per cent compared to 2022, throughout which Eurostar transported 14.8 million people.

This growth was primarily supported by the “demand on routes to London, Brussels, and Amsterdam,” wrote Eurostar in a press release. On the London-Paris line, ridership rose by a quarter. Between France and its neighbour Belgium, ridership rose more modestly, by 12 per cent, amounting to 3.3 million more travellers. Thirdly, 2 million more passengers were transported between France and the Netherlands, amounting to a 17 per cent increase.

Eurostar CEO, Gwendoline Cazenave, stated in the press release that, “In 2023, Eurostar demonstrated its ability to grow. In 2024, we continue our journey towards 30 million passengers by 2030.”

Eurostar also plans to transport 2 million passengers to Paris on its various lines for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Additionally, Eurostar, serving as the official rail partner, will transport the Olympic teams of Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.

Direct connections from London to Amsterdam will be maintained

In 2024, Eurostar is expanding its services, focusing on addressing infrastructure challenges in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam Centraal station’s cross-channel terminal will close for six months from June 14 for renovation. Afterwards, a revamped terminal will welcome more passengers to London.

To maintain travel between the Netherlands and the UK during renovations, Eurostar will operate three daily direct services from London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Additionally, a connecting service at Brussels-Midi will offer a 48-minute to 1-hour 48-minute connection between the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Brussels and Brussels-London trains. This move aims to provide efficient cross-border travel options.

“Amsterdam is a key hub for Eurostar’s international network. In 2024, we will continue to develop sustainable travel with a specific solution during the renovation of Amsterdam station. We will ensure the continuity of the direct London-Amsterdam link. From Amsterdam and Rotterdam to London, passengers will be able to travel by Eurostar with a connection, with a choice of up to 8 routes. The construction of a new terminal is vital for passengers, who will be able to increase their numbers significantly when it opens,” said Gwendoline Cazenave.”

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at RailTech.com and RailTech.be.

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