Eurostar is pressing ahead with plans for direct services between London and Amsterdam despite a drop in passenger numbers. The operators of the cross-Channel high-speed rail service suffered a 10 per cent year-on-year decline in passenger numbers during the third quarter but said plans for the new route were progressing well. The new service would provide a rival to airlines transporting 3 million people a year from London to Holland. Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic said Eurostar was making a major investment” in its fleet, service and stations to equip the 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, he told the Financial Times.