The Thalys trains connecting Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne will change their names this fall to adopt the Eurostar brand, considered better known, announced Tuesday Eurostar Group, a company which now brings together the two companies.
We need a unique, strong brand for our customers, which is the symbol of the European network that we want to put in place
", explained Gwendoline Cazenave, the general manager of Eurostar Group, during a presentation in Brussels. .
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The name Eurostar - used since 1994 to designate the TGVs traveling between London and the continent via the Channel Tunnel - was chosen because of its strong reputation among consumers.
The Thalys brand, which has existed since 1995, is less well known outside Europe, explained Gwendoline Cazenave.
Eurostar Group promises a unique website, application, reservation system and loyalty program from October.
The Thalys brand will disappear at that time, before the services offered to travelers are unified, by 2024. But the former Thalys will remain red.
We are not going to repaint all the trains!
exclaimed Gwendoline Cazenave.
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A new logo should be imposed by the end of the year: a somewhat crazy six-pointed star in an open circle, which forms an “
This drawing recalls, according to its promoters, the mythical Étoile du Nord train, which linked Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam from 1924 to 1996, the Universal Exhibition in Brussels in 1958 and the first logo of Eurostar.
Last initiative of the former boss of the SNCF, Guillaume Pepy, before his departure at the end of 2019, the merger of Eurostar and Thalys was finalized on May 1, 2022. The objective of the SNCF, their majority shareholder, was to better use the trains.
By 2025, the current Eurostars will also be able to circulate throughout the network, for example between Paris and Brussels (but the Thalys are not intended to cross the Channel).
The objective is to reach 30 million passengers for the two companies by 2030. Which is “
more than doable
”, judges Gwendoline Cazenave, who may have to buy new trains by then.
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In the immediate future, it is a question of finding the 19 million passengers of 2019, before Brexit and the health crisis.
In 2022, Eurostar Group trains transported 14.8 million people: 8.3 million for Eurostar and 6.5 million for Thalys.
The big subject we have is the bottleneck at the borders
” which did not allow the 2019 service to be restored to London because of Brexit-related controls, regretted the leader.