Thalys unveiled the first of its refurbished TGVs in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Readers who follow the thread below will see more details of the new product including the interior.

Thalys is jointly owned by SNCF (France) and SNCB (Belgium), with SNCF holding 70 per cent of the shares. It is a service much used by corporate travellers.

Thalys operates regularly over the busy Amsterdam-Schiphol-Rotterdam-Antwerp-Brussels-Paris route. It holds a monopoly on this high-speed route.

Another route is Paris-Brussels-Cologne where it competes with Deutsche Bahn (DB).

Since 2019 it has held the distinction of linking the hubs of Air France and KLM with a direct service between Schiphol and Paris CDG. No other high-speed train service directly links other airline hubs in mainland Europe (Lufthansa’s second hub at Munich has no mainline access).

Thalys to link Amsterdam Schiphol with Paris CDG

From the passengers’ viewpoint not everything is perfect. Thalys’ multi-voltage TGVs are 25 years old and there has been nothing new since then. At busy times, fares can be expensive and Thalys faces no high-speed competition. Perhaps the capacity will arrive when Thalys merges with Eurostar.

Another issue concerns Brussels-Cologne. Under Railteam rules travellers are told they can “Enjoy seam-less high-speed travel across Europe.” Details are available here.

However these rules have no legal binding and there have been cases where one operator would not accept another’s ticket for ‘service recovery.’ One example concerns the Brussels-Cologne route. There have been cases when Thalys has refused to accept a DB ticket when the latter has a delay or cancellation.