SNCF proposes merger of Eurostar/Thalys to create a combined European high speed rail travel company

    SNCF, SNCB and Patina Rail LLP presented (27-Sep-2019) the ‘Green Speed’ project to their respective boards, proposing combining Eurostar and Thalys to create the foundations of a sustainable European high-speed rail (HSR) travel company. The combination of resources, including fleet and information and distribution systems, will improve economic efficiency, enhance customer service and increase the number of direct connections between European cities. Its combined network will comprise London, Paris (Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport), BrusselsAmsterdam (Amsterdam Schiphol Airport), RotterdamCologneDuesseldorf (Duesseldorf Airport) and Dortmund, with connecting services to Marseille and Bordeaux. The combined HSR entity will aim to accelerate the transition from air and road travel to HSR travel by increasing the capacity of passengers p/a on the Eurostar/Thalys networks, providing an “attractive alternative to air and road travel” for close to 30 million passengers p/a by 2030. Other benefits will include maximising the use of renewable energy in its fleet, creation of a joint loyalty programme and simplifying international travel with seamless and efficient services on one ticket. [more – original PR – English/French]