Eurostar Group Ltd. said it will run trains from London to Amsterdam via the Channel Tunnel from December 2016 after reaching a deal with Dutch Railways.

Trains from the U.K. capital will call at Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium and Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands before terminating at Amsterdam Central station, Eurostar said today in an e-mailed statement.

With a journey time of about four hours and an initial two trains per day in each direction, the service will provide an alternative to the plane on a London-Amsterdam route that Eurostar said is the busiest international airline market in Europe, attracting more than 3 million passengers a year.

“Today’s announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans,” Eurostar Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Petrovic said in the statement. “This is one of Europe’s most popular routes.” The expansion plan still requires Dutch parliamentary approval after a deal with the infrastructure ministry, he said.

Eurostar trains currently link London with Paris and Brussels, with additional services to the Alps and Avignon in southern France. Dutch services will provided by new e320 trains ordered from Siemens AG.

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Photo Credit: A Eurostar train Paul Johnston / Flickr