A multicultural ambition
Thalys: a strong European vision.
A European challenge
Thalys has a clear vision on rail traffic in Europe paired with a huge ambition: stimulating exchanges via direct international rail connections that are both fast and easy.
Thalys was launched in the early nineties. From the outset it was developed to the scale of its 4 countries: Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany. The company was established in 1995 as a cooperation between SNCB, SNCF, DB and NS. A few months later, in June 1996, our very first red train left the station with the first Thalys-passengers on board.
To master this challenge, our teams managed to concentrate the best of railroad technology: Thalys trainsets are industrial innovations that can adapt to as many as nine different signage systems and four types of electrification. Our train drivers and train managers are specially trained and adhere to often complex sets of national norms and regulations.
Mission accomplished: more than 7.5 million travelers per year choose Thalys!
A culture of service
Promoting mobility in Europe means that train journeys not only have to be faster, but also easier and more pleasant for travelers. That is why at Thalys we focus on the needs of travelers. This is also apparent in our motto "Welcome to our world". The fact that all our onboard personnel have chosen to learn the different languages spoken across our network to make every customer feel welcome, illustrates our customer-centered approach.
With 50% leisure and 50% business travelers aboard our trains, Thalys serves a wide audience. Thalys was amongst the first trains in the world to introduce Wi-Fi on board (2008). Just like the comfort and the warm reception, free Wi-Fi is now part of our standard service.
If desired, travelers can enjoy a tasty meal at the seat, read international newspapers and have a taxi booked for their arrival.
Especially looking for a low fare? Thalys aims to offer the best rates: our entry prices have been stable for several years and in total about one third of our tickets are offered for less than €40.
Meeting challenges runs in our DNA
Seamlessly crossing numerous national borders several times a day is a major challenge, so operational and technological excellence are an absolute must. By incorporating these values into our company DNA, Thalys has been able to play a leading role in many areas, from Wi-Fi to ERTMS (the European signaling and management system for trains). The "CO", our operational center based in Brussels, constantly monitors all train movements on the 4 national infrastructures and accurately tracks the train frequencies per route. Customer service answers questions from travelers in four languages every day.
Within this framework, the transformation of Thalys into an independent railway company in 2015 was an important step. Thanks to the confidence of our shareholders SNCB and SNCF, Thalys is now directly active in France and Belgium. In Germany, We have also changed our approach since December 2016, with improved management of the operational processes with the support of SNCF Voyages Deutschland (SVDE) and Keolis Deutschland. Finally, the quality of the Thalys service is also the result of a very good cooperation with the NS in the Netherlands.
The Premium Experience
About 100 different menus in the Premium area, developed in collaboration with the well-known Belgian chef Frank Fol, combine quality and variety.