Published: 00:01, 16 June 2017
A new Eurostar train service to Amsterdam will not stop at Kent stations - at least initially, according to county transport chiefs.
Eurostar recently announced it would be introducing a new service to the Dutch city by the end of the year.
At the time, it did not say whether the service would stop at any of the two Kent stations.
It has since been reported that the date for the new service had been put back to Easter 2018.
County transport chiefs say their understanding is that Eurostar was planning two services daily direct from London - neither of which would be stopping at either Ashford or Ebbsfleet.
Stephen Gasche, KCC principal transport planner, told county councillors today the service was scheduled to begin in February 2018.
There would be two trains daily but neither would stop at Kent, he said.
“When these are delivered, we will then make the case that a third service should serve either Ashford or Ebbsfleet...” - Stephen Gasche, KCC principal transport planner
“When these are delivered, we will then make the case that a third service should serve either Ashford or Ebbsfleet.”
He added that there were complex border issues and immigration controls which Eurostar were seeking to resolve.
The outbound journey is expected to take 3 hours 50 minutes while the return journey will take 4 hours 20 minutes, due to a longer stop in Brussels on the way back.
Eurostar says its expansion into new routes presented a “major growth opportunity.”
Chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “With demand for high-speed rail over plane on the increase, we are now gearing up to expand our reach to the Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
"The launch of our new direct service on this high volume route represents a major growth opportunity for our business.
“The introduction of the e320 on the Brussels route marks an important milestone and step change in the travel experience for our customers."
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