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Thalys
Thalys
is an international high-speed train operator originally built around the LGV Nord
LGV Nord
high-speed line between Paris
Paris
and Brussels. This track is shared with Eurostar
Eurostar
trains that go from Paris
Paris
or Brussels
Brussels
to London
London
via Lille
Lille
and the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
and with French domestic TGV trains. Thalys
Thalys
serves Amsterdam
Amsterdam
and Cologne
Cologne
as well. Its system is managed by Thalys
Thalys
International ( SNCF
SNCF
(62%), NMBS/SNCB (28%), and Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
(10%)) and operated by THI Factory ( SNCF
SNCF
(60%), NMBS/SNCB (40%)).[2]

Contents

1 History 2 Routes 3 Market

3.1 Accessibility 3.2 Thalys
Thalys
Lounge

4 Rolling stock 5 Accidents and incidents 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading

History[edit] Before Thalys, there had been an express rail service between Paris and Brussels
Brussels
since 1924 on the train service l'Étoile du Nord. In the 1970s it connected the two cities in around 2 hours 30 minutes. The decision to build a high-speed railway between Paris, Brussels, Cologne
Cologne
and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
was made in 1987. On 28 January 1993,[3] SNCF, SNCB/NMBS,[2] Nederlandse Spoorwegen
Nederlandse Spoorwegen
and Deutsche Bundesbahn
Deutsche Bundesbahn
(which became part of Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
in 1994) signed an agreement to operate the axis jointly through the brand Thalys, and in 1995 Westrail International was created by the French and Belgian national railways to operate the services. On 4 June 1996 the first train left Paris using the LGV Nord
LGV Nord
until it reached Belgium, taking 2:07 hours to Brussels
Brussels
and 4:47 hours to Amsterdam.[4] In 1997, the Belgian HSL 1
HSL 1
line, allowing 300 km/h and running from the French border to the outskirts of Brussels, was completed for service. On 14 December 1997 the first Thalys
Thalys
train from Paris
Paris
to Brussels
Brussels
ran on the HSL 1, reducing travel time to 1:25 hours. At the same time service commenced to Cologne
Cologne
and Aachen
Aachen
in Germany, and Bruges, Charleroi, Ghent, Mons, Namur and Ostend
Ostend
in Belgium. On 19 December 1998 the Thalys
Thalys
Neige service started to the ski resorts of Tarentaise Valley and Bourg St. Maurice. In May 1999, the new high-speed line serving Charles de Gaulle Airport
Charles de Gaulle Airport
opened, and Thalys started direct services from the Airport to Brussels, including code sharing agreements with Air France, American Airlines
American Airlines
and Northwest Airlines. On 28 November 1999, the company changed its name to Thalys International. In 2000, Thalys
Thalys
started a daily Service between Brussels
Brussels
and Geneva. Thalys
Thalys
Soleil started offering direct connections to the Provence; initially to Valence, and extended to Avignon
Avignon
and Marseille
Marseille
in 2002. Service between Brussels
Brussels
and Cologne
Cologne
was improved in December 2002 when trains began running on the new HSL 2
HSL 2
in Belgium. In 2003, services started to Brussels
Brussels
International Airport and the Thalys Nuits d’Été service to Marne-la-Vallée. Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
purchased 10% of the company in 2007.[4] Beginning 14 June 2009 the journey between Brussels
Brussels
and Cologne
Cologne
was shortened by 19 minutes when the new high speed line HSL 3
HSL 3
between Liège
Liège
and Aachen
Aachen
opened using Deutsche Bahn's thrice-daily ICE trains running between Brussels
Brussels
and Frankfurt. HSL 3
HSL 3
was completed in 2007, but Thalys
Thalys
trains had not yet been equipped with the ETCS
ETCS
signalling equipment necessary to use the new line. After installation and testing, Thalys
Thalys
began operating on HSL 3
HSL 3
on 13 December 2009. For the same reasons, Thalys
Thalys
started operating on the HSL 4/HSL-Zuid high-speed line between Antwerp
Antwerp
and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
13 December 2009, two years after the line's construction. Since 29 August 2011, one return journey to Cologne
Cologne
has been extended to Essen
Essen
Hauptbahnhof,[5] and since 30 October 2011, one return journey to Brussels
Brussels
had been extended to Brussels
Brussels
National Airport.[6] In June 2013, Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
stopped selling Thalys
Thalys
tickets, and began a plan to exit from Thalys
Thalys
capital. Thalys
Thalys
has served Düsseldorf Airport station
Düsseldorf Airport station
since the winter 2013 schedule went into effect.[7] On 12 April 2014, Thalys
Thalys
started a regular service between Lille Europe and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Centraal. At the end of March 2015, Thalys
Thalys
dropped the Paris
Paris
– Oostende and the Paris
Paris
Brussels
Brussels
Mons
Mons
Charleroi
Charleroi
– Namur – Liège routes, due to the lack of funding from the Belgian government. On 30 March 2015, Thalys
Thalys
became a train company (named THI Factory), and operates since under its own train operator certificate.[8] Starting from 13 December 2015, service in Germany is extended to Dortmund. Routes[edit]

High speed rail networks in Europe. Thalys
Thalys
line network shown in burgundy.

See also: List of TGV
TGV
services Beyond Brussels, the main cities Thalys
Thalys
trains reach are Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Liège, Aachen
Aachen
and Cologne. Trains to these destinations run partly on dedicated high-speed tracks, and partly on conventional tracks shared with normal-speed trains. The high-speed lines used by Thalys
Thalys
are HSL 1
HSL 1
between Paris
Paris
and Brussels, HSL 4/ HSL-Zuid
HSL-Zuid
between Antwerp
Antwerp
and Amsterdam, and the HSL 2
HSL 2
and HSL 3 between Brussels
Brussels
and Aachen. For its seasonal operations within France, other high-speed lines are used. Plans to continue the line past Cologne
Cologne
to Frankfurt had to be abandoned because the Thalys
Thalys
train sets are very inefficient under Germany's 15 kV electric system and thus unable to operate at full speed on the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line.[9] Journeys from Brussels
Brussels
(Brussels-South) to Paris
Paris
(Gare du Nord) are normally 1 hour, 22 minutes, for a distance of approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi). Peak speed is 300 km/h (186 mph) on a dedicated high-speed railway track which is electrified at 25 kV AC OHLE. The ligne à grande vitesse (LGV) link with Charles de Gaulle Airport allowed Air France
Air France
to withdraw its air service between Paris
Paris
and Brussels; instead, Air France
Air France
books seats on Thalys
Thalys
trains.[10] Thalys has been given the IATA designator 2H. This is used in conjunction with American Airlines
American Airlines
and Delta Air Lines. American Airlines
American Airlines
has a code sharing agreement with Thalys
Thalys
for rail service from Charles de Gaulle airport to Brussels-South. The airline alliance SkyTeam
SkyTeam
also has a code sharing agreement with Thalys
Thalys
for rail service connecting its hub Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport with Antwerp-Centraal and Bruxelles Midi/Brussel Zuid. Indian carrier Jet Airways
Jet Airways
has formed a codeshare agreement with the Thalys
Thalys
rail service between Brussels
Brussels
and Paris.[11] Market[edit] Thalys
Thalys
targets a passenger market in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. The percentage of income coming from different routes[12] demonstrates on which routes the company is most used:

Paris-Brussels: 55.6% Paris-Belgium (outside Brussels): 8.9% Paris-Belgium-Netherlands: 21.3% Paris-Belgium-Germany: 11.8% Others: 2.4%

52% of customers are from the leisure market; 48% from the business market. A large segment of Thalys's total sales and income comes from the connection between Paris
Paris
and Brussels. Unlike many national train companies, Thalys
Thalys
does not allow children below 12 years old to travel alone. Since 24 August 2010, there has been a supplement of €7 to Thalys (as well as other international high speed tickets) tickets bought at SNCB/NMBS ticket offices at train stations. This is due to a reduction of a sales fee paid by Thalys
Thalys
and Eurostar
Eurostar
to the Belgian rail company.[13]

Thalys
Thalys
yearly passengers and revenue

1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Passengers

4.72[14] 4.98[15] 5.5[16] 5.8[17] 6.0[18] 5.8[19] 5.95[20] 6.15[21] 6.5[22] 6.2[23] 6.5[24] 6.07[25] 6.45[25] 6.65[26] 6.60[27] 6.69[28]

Revenue 60[29] 115[30] 190 220 266 294 310 301 318 335 363 364 392 382 432 470 479 487[31]

All figures in millions. Revenue in millions of euro.

Accessibility[edit] Thalys
Thalys
trains are wheelchair-accessible, with assistance of the train staff. Bicycles are not allowed on Thalys, unless disassembled or packed in special wrap. Folding bikes are allowed.[32] Due to the departure of Deutsche Bahn, the distribution of Thalys tickets was discontinued by the railway on June 9, 2013. Tickets are still on the train (25 euros surcharge), by phone at Thalys
Thalys
itself for the same periods as the Internet sales (see below), the French (SNCF), the Dutch (NS) and the Belgian State Railways (NMBS / SNCB), some travel agencies (also with surcharge) and on the Internet up to three months in advance available. At Cologne
Cologne
Central Station (in the building opposite the main entrance of the station) there has been a Thalys
Thalys
Store & More since October 22, 2012. It acts as a normal travel agency with the above restrictions and makes a surcharge even for own trains. Further outlets of Thalys
Thalys
Store & More exist in the main station Aachen
Aachen
as well as beside the main station Düsseldorf (Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz, south entrance). Thalys
Thalys
Lounge[edit] Thalys
Thalys
operates its own lounges in Brussels, Cologne, Aachen
Aachen
and Paris. Opened on 9 July 2015, the newest lounge on Gare du Nord, located on Rue de Dunkerque, offers travelers with a valid Thalys
Thalys
the Card ( Thalys
Thalys
Loyalty Program) a variety of services, including free WiFi or a luggage storage service. For business travelers, a fully equipped meeting room is available for up to six people. Rolling stock[edit]

A Thalys
Thalys
PBA and PBKA coupled in Paris
Paris
Nord

Hergé
Hergé
Thalys

Thalys
Thalys
uses two models of trains, both of which are part of the TGV (train à grande vitesse) family of high-speed trains built by Alstom in France.

 Class  Image  Type   Top speed   Number   Built   Notes 

 km/h   mph 

PBA

Electric multiple unit 300[33] 186 9[1] 1996 Tri-current; Operates only on the Paris–Brussels– Amsterdam
Amsterdam
route.

PBKA

Electric multiple unit 300 186 17 1997 Quadri-current; Operates on Paris–Brussels–Cologne–Amsterdam route.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Thalys
Thalys
PBKA at Köln Messe/Deutz station
Köln Messe/Deutz station
with an Essen-bound train

Further information: TGV
TGV
accidents

On 9 May 1998, a truck was struck by a Thalys
Thalys
PBKA on an unprotected level crossing; it had attempted to cross the tracks at the crossing when the train arrived. The truck driver was killed in the impact and the train's power unit and first two-passenger carriages derailed; the trainset was left heavily damaged. Six passengers were injured and tracks and catenary were broken in the incident. Passenger carriages R1 and R2 had to be scrapped. The trainset was later repaired with the R1 and R2 carriages from a regular TGV
TGV
trainset. On 11 October 2008, a Thalys
Thalys
PBA set bound for Amsterdam
Amsterdam
collided with a local ICM train set at Gouda railway station
Gouda railway station
in the Netherlands. The Thalys
Thalys
train set had been diverted via Gouda due to engineering work on its usual route. None of the passengers were seriously injured, but both trains incurred serious damage. An investigation concluded that staff of the local ICM was to blame as they left the platform whilst still under a red signal.[34][35] On 21 August 2015, a gunman attacked passengers on an Amsterdam– Paris
Paris
train near Arras. The incident was treated as a terrorist attack. Three passengers plus the assailant received non-fatal injuries.[36][37]

See also[edit]

Cologne– Aachen
Aachen
high-speed railway HSL 1 HSL 2 HSL 3 HSL 4 HSL-Zuid LGV Nord Train categories in Europe IZY
IZY
- Thalys
Thalys
low-cost service

References[edit]

^ a b "Thalys: Key figures". Thalys. Retrieved 2009-07-29.  ^ a b thalys.com. "corporate". Thalys. Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ Thalys. "1976–1995 The train: economic development drive". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2008-10-04.  ^ a b Thalys. "History". Retrieved 2008-10-04.  ^ Hermsen, Stephan (22 December 2010). " Thalys
Thalys
verbindet das Ruhrgebiet mit Paris" [ Thalys
Thalys
connects the Ruhr area with Paris]. DerWesten (in German). Essen.  ^ Belga (14 September 2011). " Brussels
Brussels
Airport à 1h47 de Paris
Paris
via Thalys" [ Brussels
Brussels
Airport 1h47 away from Paris
Paris
with Thalys]. La Libre Belgique (in French). Brussels.  ^ 2013 Thalys
Thalys
winter schedule ^ " Thalys
Thalys
is now a train operating company" (PDF). thalys.com (Press release).  ^ Alain Jeunesse and Michel Rollin (March 2004). "La motorisation du TGV
TGV
POS" (in French). Retrieved 2007-07-04.  ^ United States Government Accountability Office (1994). Intermodal Transportation. DIANE Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 1-4289-3337-9.  ^ [1][dead link] ^ thalys.com. "Chiffres Clés". Thalys. Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ F.C. (2010-08-24). " Thalys
Thalys
et Eurostar
Eurostar
économisent sur le dos de la SNCB". Lalibre.be. Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ Unknown (20 January 1999). " Thalys
Thalys
trook 57 procent meer treinreizigers in 1998; NMBS: Internationaal treinverkeer zit duidelijk in de lift". De Financieel-Economische Tijd. p. 26.  ^ Unknown (8 February 2000). " Thalys
Thalys
vervoert bijna 5 miljoen passagiers". NRC Handelsblad. p. 15.  ^ Unknown (10 January 2001). "Opnieuw goed jaar voor Thalys". De Financieel-Economische Tijd. p. 9.  ^ Van der Heide, Lolke (27 July 2002). "Vliegen zonder vleugels ; Hogesnelheidstrein komt nog niet los van strijd om nationaal belang". NRC Handelsblad. p. 11.  ^ Unknown (6 January 2003). "Thalys: zes miljoen passagiers in 2002". Nieuws.nl. Archived from the original on 2012-04-25.  ^ Unknown (16 January 2004). " Thalys
Thalys
vervoert minder passagiers". BN/De Stem.  ^ Unknown (20 January 2005). "Recordjaar voor Thalys". Rotterdams Dagblad. Rotterdam. p. 716.  ^ Unknown (3 January 2006). "Kort Nieuws". AD/Algemeen Dagblad. p. 15.  ^ Unknown (10 January 2007). "6,5 miljoen reizigers voor Thalys". De Tijd. p. 4.  ^ Unknown (16 January 2008). " Thalys
Thalys
verliest reizigers maar behoudt omzet". De Tijd. p. 6.  ^ "Thalys.com 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ a b ANP. "Volkskrant (2011)". Volkskrant.nl. Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ "Press release Thalys" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ "Press release Thalys" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ "Persbericht resultaten 2013, Rotterdam
Rotterdam
17 februari 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ Botman, Hans (27 March 1999). " Thalys
Thalys
raast door". Algemeen Dagblad. p. 49.  ^ Van Gelder, Harry (26 March 1999). "Belgen, Fransen, Duitsers en Nederlanders exploiteren hogesnelheidslijn liever samen ; Europese spoorbedrijven verwerpen concurrentie". De Volkskrant. Brussels. p. 2.  ^ "Treinreiziger.nl, 17 februari 2014". Treinreiziger.nl. Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ " Thalys
Thalys
Trains, European Trains". Rail Europe. Retrieved 2014-06-02.  ^ "Railway Gazette: Manufacturers must share the risk". Retrieved 2011-02-21.  ^ nu.nl. "Accident". Retrieved 2008-10-11.  ^ IVW.nl. "Rapport". Retrieved 2009-05-18.  ^ "France train shooting: Three hurt and man arrested - BBC News". bbc.com. Retrieved 2015-08-21.  ^ "Deux blessés par balle dans un Thalys
Thalys
reliant Amsterdam
Amsterdam
à Paris". Le Monde/AFP. Retrieved 2015-08-21. 

Further reading[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thalys.

Brunhouse, Jay (1999). Traveling Europe's Trains. Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 1-56554-854-X.  Solomon, Brian (2001). Bullet trains. MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7603-0768-7.  International railway journal (2003). A star is born: International railway journal. Simmons-Boardman Pub. Corp. 

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v t e

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