The NMBS / SNCB, the railway company of Belgium, is studying the possibility to stop at Antwerp Central railway station. The Flemish newspaper De Standaard had a peek at an advanced draft of the upcoming management agreement between the Belgian government and NMBS /SNCB.
Eurostar, the train which links London in the UK to Paris in France, Brussels in Belgium and since recently Amsterdam in The Nederlands, could, and honestly should, stop in Antwerp. You can read a review here.
The idea was first investigated in 2013 but abandoned for being too expensive. It would mean some infrastructure investment, with separate counters and separate check-in facilities. The United Kingdom is not part of Shengen and will leave the European Union soon, so passports controls are necessary.
Hotels and tourism
The hotel and tourism sector was disappointed the Eurostar didn’t call Antwerp. The political party N-VA is said to have pushed for a review of the current situation.
As airliner VLM has collapsed, there is at this point no direct link between Antwerp and London. Eurostar could fill that void.
Will it happen? Professor Eddy Van de Voorde of the University of Antwerp is not convinced. The transportation economy specialist says in De Standaard the Eurostar thrives on business travellers. Those want hourly connections. Will Eurostar comply?