The high-speed train companies Eurostar and Thalys are resuming their merger project, delayed by the coronavirus crisis. The headquarters of the future entity will be established in Brussels and, in time, the Thalys brand will disappear, reports French newspaper Les Echos.
A holding company will be created, housing the two companies. It will be established in Brussels. French railway company SNCF will be the majority shareholder while Belgian SNCB will get 18.5% of the shares.
In two or three years, only the Eurostar brand, which is better known internationally, especially in the US, will survive. It also has the advantage of referring to Europe.
The project, called Green Speed, consists of creating the first high-speed train company connecting five countries (France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands), says a Thalys spokesperson.
However, the merger operation must still be submitted to the European Commission, probably in early 2022.
The goal of carrying 30 million passengers by 2030 is maintained but probably postponed by two or three years. The combined customership of the two companies was 18.5 million people in 2018.