7 OCTOBER 2019
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A proposal to merge the Eurostar and Thalys high-speed train operations into an eco-conscious project known as Green Speed has been published, covering five countries to link London, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels, Bordeaux and Marseille.
The Thalys and Eurostar networks cover an approximate population of nearly 245m and the companies between them run 112 trains a day, serving together more than 18.5m passengers a year.
“The challenge of climate change and Europe’s growing demand for eco-responsible and sustainable travel presents a great opportunity for both companies in terms of development,” they said in a statement.
“The combined excellence and unique expertise of Eurostar’s and Thalys’ colleagues would provide a powerful platform for the future growth of European high-speed rail and a solution to this growing demand.”
The companies said the Green Speed project would give passengers “a comfortable, sustainable and European high-speed travel experience” linking the UK with the Mediterranean, the North Sea with the Atlantic and the Benelux countries with the Alps.
Guillaume Pepy, CEO of French National Railways (SNCF), which holds a majority stake in both Eurostar and Thalys, said: “Bringing together the strengths of Eurostar and Thalys would be a powerful response to the climate change challenge.
“The creation of a combined European high-speed rail company would deliver a compelling alternative to road and air travel for our 18.5m passengers."
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