Eurostar to merge with Thalys to form ‘Green Speed’

Heading north to Amsterdam: Thalys quad-voltage TGV set 4345 on the high-speed line just south of Rotterdam on September 13, 2018, about to go under the Oude Maas river tunnel.  KEITH FENDER

International high-speed operators Eurostar and Thalys announced plans in late September to merge the two companies to create a new pan-European high-speed operator to be known as Green Speed.

French Railways (SNCF) is the majority shareholder for both operators, along with Belgian Railways (SNCB), which is a minority shareholder in both Eurostar and the two Thalys operating and commercial companies.

Patina Rail LLP (a Canadian bank consortium) has a 40% stake in Eurostar, formerly owned by the British government.

The merger is subject to competition clearance by the EU. The new merged company will have annual revenues of €1.7billion, and is aiming for 30% growth in passenger numbers by 2030. 

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