21 Facts About Thalys


Thalys is a French-Belgian high-speed train operator originally built around the LGV Nord high-speed line between Paris and Brussels.

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Thalys serves Amsterdam and German cities in the Rhein-Ruhr, including Aachen, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Essen and Dortmund.

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Thalys was created out of a political ambition formalised in October 1987 to establish a network of international high-speed railway services between the cities of Paris, Brussels, Cologne, and Amsterdam.

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Thalys procured a fleet of Alstom-built TGV trains to operate its services as they were viewed as the only existing rolling stock suitable to the task.

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On 4 June 1996, the first Thalys-branded train departed Paris, early services were more reliant on slower conventional lines as many of the new high speed lines were still under construction.

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On 30 March 2015, Thalys was restructured as a conventional train operating company, becoming less reliant on SNCF and SNCB.

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In February 2022, Thalys International was integrated into THI Factory, which in turn was acquired by the holding company Eurostar Group during the following month.

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That same month, both the logo and brand of Thalys were created; the word deliberately lacked any particular meaning, save for being pronounceable in the languages of all the countries served.

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On 4 June 1996, the first Thalys-branded train departed Paris, this maiden journey took two hours and seven minutes to reach to Brussels, and four hours and 47 minutes to arrive in Amsterdam.

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In May 1999, the new high-speed line serving Charles de Gaulle Airport opened, and Thalys started direct services from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Brussels, including codeshare agreements with Air France, American Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

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In 2000, Thalys started a daily Service between Brussels and Geneva.

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On 9 June 2013, permanently ceased the sale of tickets for Thalys services, forcing affected travellers to purchase separate tickets.

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Thalys opted to sell its 10 per cent shareholding in Thalys, marking a general parting of ways between the two operators.

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Since the winter 2013 schedule, Thalys has operated services stopping at Dusseldorf Airport station.

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On 30 March 2015, Thalys was restructured as a conventional train operating company, adopting the name THI Factory, and has since operated under its own train operator certificate.

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In March 2018, Thalys ceased all its operations from Lille-Europe, citing disappointing demand and financial results.

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In September 2019, the shareholders of the cross-Channel high speed train operator Eurostar and Thalys introduced a plan to merge the two companies, named project Green Speed.

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Beyond Brussels, the main cities Thalys trains reach are Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Liege, Aachen and Cologne.

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Thalys trains are wheelchair-accessible, with the assistance of the train staff.

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In February 2020, Thalys announced that its new first-and-last mile travel service 'My Driver by Thalys' enables passengers can choose between around 50 local taxi fleets to complete their rail journeys.

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Thalys uses two models of trains, both of which are part of the TGV family of high-speed trains built by Alstom in France.

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