The high-speed railway service connecting UK and mainland Europe, Eurostar, has announced plans to introduce a new direct route from London to Amsterdam in April.

The new route is expected to enable passengers to travel from St Pancras railway station in London to the Netherlands in three hours.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “The launch of our service to the Netherlands represents an exciting advance in cross-Channel travel and heralds a new era in international high-speed rail.

"The launch of our service to the Netherlands represents an exciting advance in cross-Channel travel and heralds a new era in international high-speed rail."

“With direct services from the UK to The Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the UK and three of Europe’s top trading nations.”

Eurostar opted to commence the new services from 4 April following a comprehensive programme of testing along the Dutch high-speed network, as well as the completion of its terminals in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Petrovic added: “Our new route marks the culmination of the extensive investment in high-speed rail on both sides of the Channel.

“With £1bn investment in our new state-of the art trains and enhanced connectivity on the European network, passengers can now enjoy fast, seamless rail connections between the UK and mainland Europe, and a transformed travel experience.”

Passengers are slated to travel directly from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, however the return journey will temporarily be connected via Brussels, where security screening and passport checks will be conducted.

Passport checks will later be carried out in the Netherlands once the governments of both countries have signed an agreement to enable direct journeys in both directions, which will allow the connecting stop to be removed from the route.

The agreement is expected to be finalised by the end of 2019.