The ‘Green Speed‘ Eurostar – Thalys merger project is back on track. French business newspaper Les Echos broke the news the two high speed train brands will indeed merge. The headquarters will be located in Brussels and the Thalys brand will disappear. Thalys has confirmed the news.
In 2022 the project will be presented to the European Commission, which will review the merger. The Commission dislikes monopolies and market domination.
French railway company SNCF will have 55.75% of the new holding. The Belgian NMBS /SNCB 18.5%.
Green Speed was first announced in September 2019. At the time, there was talk of the ambition to transport some 30 million travelers a year by 2030, compared to a combined 18.5 million in 2018. That ambition remains the same, says SNCF in Les Echos, although it will probably take two or three years longer to to fulfill these ambitions.
According to SNCF CEO Christophe Fanichet, COVID-19 has delayed the merger plans, but the idea was never abandoned.
The two high-speed operators together employ about 2,300 people. Together, they achieved more than 1.5 billion euros in turnover for corona.
The Thalys trains will be rebranded. Thalys had just started refurbishing its EMUs, with a revised styling and livery. Now all these will have to be re-done in Eurostar branding.
The new Eurostar will link five countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
The idea of high-speed train connections between Paris, Brussels, Cologne, and Amsterdam gained ground in 1987. On 4 June 1996 the first Thalys ran from Paris-North to Brussels-Midi.
The brand won’t reach its 30th birthday, as the merger should be effective in 2024.
More on Thalys
- ‘Green Speed’: Train operators Thalys and Eurostar to become one.
- ‘Disney Express’ by Thalys to Disneyland Paris / Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy.
- REVIEW | Thalys Lounge at Brussels South/Midi station.
- Antwerp – Brussels – Paris in Thalys Comfort 1.
- Travelling in Thalys Premium.
- ‘Merknaam Thalys zal verdwijnen door fusie met Eurostar’, Francisca Van Esch, Belga, VRT NWS, 04.10.2021.
- ‘Thalys gaat (in 2024) verder als Eurostar’, Treinreiziger.nl, 04.10.2021.
- ‘Eurostar en Thalys pikken fusieproject weer op: hoofdkantoor komt in Brussel, merknaam Thalys verdwijnt op termijn’, ADN, Belga, HLN, 04.10.2021.
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