Eurostar presses on with plans for direct services between London and Amsterdam
Eurostar is pressing ahead with plans for direct rail services between London and Amsterdam amid a drop in passenger numbers on existing routes.
The cross-Channel rail operator said services between the cities are due to begin at the end of next year.
The London-Amsterdam route attracts m ore than three million airline passengers each year.
Eurostar believes its direct four-hour train journeys will "greatly enhance" transport links between the cities, with one-way fares from £29.
The company's results for the third quarter of 2016 showed that passenger numbers were down 10% compared with last year and sales revenues were 8% lower year-on-year.
The operator said that following a period in which demand was dampened by the terrorist attack in Nice in July, passenger numbers have increased over the past eight weeks compared with the same period in 2015.
Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic commented: "After a softening in demand over the summer, we saw an increase in travel from the continent to London during the half-term holiday.
"With the weakening of the pound, the UK is proving to be an attractive destination. The outlook to the end of the year is encouraging, with many travellers taking day trips to London to do their Christmas shopping.
"Over the coming months, we are making a major investment in our fleet, our service and our stations to equip our business for expansion.
"The launch of our Amsterdam route at the end of next year marks a key milestone and represents a significant growth opportunity for the future."