High-Speed Train Travel in Europe Is About to Get Even Easier

The first-ever direct train from London to Germany is coming soon

Eurostar trains at Waterloo International

 Timothy E Baldwin/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Hoping to hop around Europe this summer without the burden of long airport security lines? A new mega-merger between two of the continent's largest train carriers, Eurostar and Thalys, will make European train travel more straightforward than ever before.

The two companies recently announced that they would join together to create a new holding company, Eurostar Group, while remaining independent rail carriers. The partnership will provide opportunities to expand high-speed rail service from London to mainland Europe, bringing train travelers to several new European destinations that direct routes have not previously served.

The merger's perks include the first-ever direct train from London to Germany and a high-speed connection from London to Cologne in approximately five-and-a-half hours. There will also be more options to link London to current Thalys destinations like Düsseldorf, Essen, Aachen, and Dortmund, and the launch of additional routes between London and Bordeaux.

The merger already received approval from the European Commission. Both Eurostar and Thalys have stated that they hope to leverage the new high-speed train routes as a sustainable alternative to short-haul flying between countries, with a person's carbon footprint from one flight equivalent to taking 13 Eurostar trips.

"The shareholders of Eurostar and Thalys are more convinced than ever that the combination of Eurostar and Thalys will help to meet the growing demand for sustainable mobility by promoting the development of rail transport in Europe," the two companies shared in a joint statement.

Currently, Thalys runs trains between Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, while Eurostar operates service from London to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

Article Sources
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  1. The Daily Mail. "Eurostar Network Set to Expand Dramatically to Include Destinations in Germany Thanks to European High-Speed Rail Firm Thalys." May 5, 2022.

  2. Travel + Leisure. "Train Travel in Europe Just Got Even Easier Thanks to This Eurostar Expansion." May 4, 2022.

  3. The Points Guy. "Traveling From the UK to Europe By Train Will Soon Be Even Easier With Planned Eurostar Expansion." May 3, 2022.

  4. Travel Weekly. "Eurostar On Track For Merger With Belgium's Thalys." March 30, 2022.

  5. Politico. "Eurostar-Thalys Merger On Track, As EU Gives Approval." March 29, 2022.