"Metamorphosis" of Thalys well received here - Rail Plus

Tuesday, 03 February 2009

Described as a "metamorphosis" of the European rail network, the just unveiled new-look and elevated services of Thalys will be well received in Australia and New Zealand because of the system's high patronage here.

Rail Plus CEO, David Stafford said Thalys' network cities Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne were exceptionally popular -- particularly Paris and Amsterdam -- because they appealed to both the youth and adult markets, and at all times of the year.

"High speed, high tech and high comfort are what the new Thalys is about," he said.

"The new-look Thalys further strengthens rail's advantages over short-haul air travel in western Europe."

Thalys is the network of four rail companies - SNCF (France), SNCB (Belgium), DB (Germany) and NS (Netherlands).

The metamorphosis of Thalys, as described at the launch by Olivier Poitrenaud, CEO of Thalys International, will be complete later this year with new fast speed services linking Cologne and Amsterdam with Paris and Brussels.

This will mean the Brussels-Cologne service will be 1hr 46 mins (currently 2.20), Brussels-Amsterdam 1hr47 (currently 2.58), Paris-Cologne 3h13 (currently 3.50) and Paris-/Amsterdam 3h14 (currently 4.11).

Last year was marked with the successful introduction of WiFi and the "Railway Interiors" prize for the interior refurbishment of trains.

Today, the "New Thalys" is a reality, said Mr Poitrenaud.

"A different train right down the line, a train with a strong personality, welcoming passengers into its new comfortable, attractive world, which combines contemporary colours, high-quality materials, even better adapted spaces and an original interior design," he said. "A unique train offering a new style of cuisine, served on modern crockery, but also a train that has developed its range of on-board services, which are provided by attentive and professional personnel, wearing uniforms designed by leading designer Eva Gronbach."

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