High Speed Rail Providers Join Forces To Connect 5 European Destinations
Two high-speed train companies are combining forces to create a rail giant that will serve five countries across the continent.
A merger of cross-border operator Eurostar and Belgium-based Thalys will connect the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The merging of the two companies has been approved by the European Commission on 29 March 2022. Expanding rail travel is part of the EU’s broader goal of curbing emissions from transport.
The new company, to be called Eurostar, will be headquartered in Brussels.
It was first announced in 2019 but the pandemic caused ticket sales to drop overnight, pushing back the plans. Both companies suffered financial difficulties with Eurostar nearly going out of business.
Now the decision has been approved by the European Commission which found that it would not raise any concerns under EU competition rules, with very little impact on the structure of the rail market.
- Travel From UK to France: Restrictions for Unvaccinated Travellers
- France Bans UK Travellers Again – Who can Travel to France
- France To End Health Pass Requirement
- Brexit: France Warns of Fines to UK Nationals Overstaying the 90-Day Limit
- France Omicron Travel Restriction: COVID Test Required for UK Travellers
- France Bans Unvaccinated From the US
- France, Iceland, and More Added to US Do Not Travel List
Project Green Speed
Thalys currently runs high-speed routes between France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium while Eurostar runs services through the Channel Tunnel from London to Paris Brussels, and Amsterdam.
Known as Project Green Speed, the merger aims to increase passenger numbers to 30 million a year by 2030 while also maximising the use of renewable energy in its combined fleet of trains.
The main benefits for consumers will be better scheduling, ticketing, and a common loyalty programme across the entire unified network.
It will be easier for passengers to take a Eurostar service to Paris then connect with a Thalys service to travel on to Germany.
All UK-bound travellers will have to pass through border control before getting on the train. It means that these stations will have to add processing terminals like the ones at Paris Gare du Nord and London St Pancras which could take some time to implement.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below.
Check out the deals we have found below and tell us your travel plans.
Check out the offers and discounts from:
IaM can help with your visa application to Europe, the United States, the UK & other countries
If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.
Some of our posts include affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of these products, we might get a small commission. For more information, check out our TOS.