Thalys has decided to axe its Izy train from July 10.
The move comes not long after Thalys’ merger with Eurostar.
This budget train was launched six years ago. Running between Paris Nord and Brussels Midi it offered both leisure and business travellers unbeatable fares in standard and first accommodation.
Izy could sell its seats at lower prices because, unlike Thalys, it took the ‘classic route’ so avoiding high-speed (HS) tracks with their high access fees.
It meant the journey time between these two capitals by Izy took 2.5 hours which is roughly twice as long as Thalys itself.
The IZY trains were a slower but budget-friendly alternative to the more expensive fast Thalys trains between Brussels and Paris. https://t.co/DJW3IwLISS
— The Brussels Times (@BrusselsTimes) May 18, 2022
Thalys spokesman Matthias Baertsoen told transport publication VRT:
“Customers will now be able to use all facilities offered by Thalys and they will be able to rebook and cancel more easily.
“Additionally we guarantee a shorter journey as all trains will now run on the fast track.”
Although Thalys says it will be offering “more favourable fares” to leisure users these may be limited.
I say that because Thalys does not have a lot of spare capacity. Since it was launched 25 years ago there has been little or no change to its fleet size. Over the same period the market has grown substantially.
No reason has been given for the demise of Izy but this service was suspended during the pandemic. Izy has now returned but with a schedule a fraction of what it used to be.