High-speed train firms Eurostar and Thalys look set to merge.
According to trade magazine IRJ, merger plans have been presented for approval to the boards of their respective owners: SNCF of France and SNCB of Belgium.
As readers will know Eurostar is the high-speed operator taking travellers from London to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. It also operates seasonal direct trains to the South of France.
Thalys operates high-speed services linking Paris Nord with Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.
The “Green Speed” merger initiative will provide Eurostar and Thalys with favourable publicity, and both will benefit from economies of scale.
But what about the end user? Both operators say this project means “seamless travel for passengers with one ticket covering any journey across the network and better connections between trains.”
Already we are seeing Thalys link the twin hubs of Air France and KLM.
Finally it is expected, subject to negotiations and the political situation, that Eurostar will run directly between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and London by mid-December at the very earliest.
Both Dutch stations have special Eurostar terminals but they have remained unused since 2018.
At present London-bound travellers must change trains at Brussels Midi for immigration/security checks.