European high-speed train operators, Eurostar and Thalys, have signed an important new partnership agreement that they believe will deliver long-lasting benefits to international leisure and business travellers.The partnership is the first under the umbrella of the “RailTeam” initiative, which aims to bring together European high-speed rail operators so they can share best-practice in the rail industry.
The partnership will see both operators sharing their experience and knowledge of high-speed rail in order to focus on a fresh vision for travellers, who expect seamless connectivity when switching from one short-haul carrier to another. Earlier this year, as a prelude to the partnership, both companies launched a special fare offer between London - Aachen - Cologne via Brussels. In addition, Thalys tickets are now sold via Eurostar’s Waterloo and Ashford terminals and via its contact centre in the UK.
The partnership will see Eurostar and Thalys working together on initiatives which include: through-ticketing and fares for journeys including London/Brussels/Cologne/Amsterdam, seamless transfers by travellers at rail hubs including Brussels-Midi, high-quality information on timetables and service levels, easy accessibility to information, fares and booking for both operators, sharing information on frequent travellers and loyalty schemes, travellers benefiting from loyalty programme tiers with each carrier, technical developments and innovation.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “The opening of new high-speed lines in the coming years gives both Eurostar and Thalys substantial opportunities to further enhance the journey experience for our travellers. This partnership will be a win-win for everyone using our services.”
Jean-Michel Dancoisne, Chief Executive of Thalys International, commented: “We have a vision for travellers that will prove we have an integrated network, providing excellent connectivity that beats the airlines’ offering. This partnership can be extended progressively in Europe with other high-speed rail operators, bringing greater benefits for our customers.”