Eurostar are set to launch their new direct high-speed service from London to Amsterdam in December 2016. The service will stop at Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schiphol airport on the way to Amsterdam.

This is great because it broadens the number of European destinations reachable by train. Flying is the quickest and cheapest way to travel abroad but for disabled passengers it can be a bit of a hassle. On the Eurostar wheelchair users can remain in their chairs for the entire journey, unlike on planes where they have to transfer into a seat. The journey to Amsterdam will take just under 4┬áhours so it’s not that long, plus you can relax and admire some of the beautiful European scenery on the way.

Another thing I am quite excited about are the new trains that Eurostar will be introducing from late 2015 onwards. The existing Eurostar trains are at least 20 years old now so they are well due for replacement. The new Eurostar train, built by Siemens, will be the e320 which can hold up to 900 passengers and travel 320 km/h (200 mph). Passenger legroom has been increased and most importantly the number of wheelchair spaces has doubled compared to the existing Eurostar trains. Instead of two on the current Eurostar trains there will now be a grand total of four, which is an improvement. Hopefully they will have made the toilets bigger because, I couldn’t even get my wheelchair in to the toilet in first-class on the current Eurostar trains which is ridiculous. There will also be plug sockets and Wi-Fi galore! Visit this webpage to see some pictures of the shiny new e320.

Wheelchair spaces will be located in standard Premier class and business premiere class which are at opposite ends of the train. I think this is a good place to put wheelchair users because the front and end carriages will have less people passing through them so will be less busy, hopefully.

I’m really looking forward to trying out the new trains later this year hopefully or maybe next year. As always I will let you know on here what I made of it all.

thanks for reading and have a good day!

 

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