Get up to Speed – Fast Trains Series: Thalys CEO, Franck Gervais

The high-speed Thalys train in the station.

The high-speed Thalys train in a station.

So what’s the big deal about high-speed rail networks in Europe and at home? Rail Europe brings to you the second post in a series of interviews from CEOs of high-speed trains for an inside scoop. We’re featuring their inspirational words on our blog about every two weeks for the next several months. At the end of each post, we’ll ask a trivia question and you’ll have 24 hours to answer in our blog comments. From all correct answers, one winner will be selected to receive two complimentary rail tickets on the featured rail company’s high-speed network – up to a $599 value High-Speed Trivia Sweepstakes. See how fast can you answer!

Read on for the third post of our series: CEO Franck Gervais talks high-speed trains.

CEO of the High-Speed Thalys train, Franck Gervais

CEO of the High-Speed Thalys train, Franck Gervais

How did the Thalys train get started?

Thalys International was launched in May 1995 by the Belgian National Railways (SNCB) and the French National Railways (SNCF), to develop and manage high-speed rail services on the Paris-Brussels-Antwerp-Amsterdam and Paris-Brussels-Liège-Cologne routes. The first Thalys trains circulated on the 2nd of June in 1996. Today, Thalys is a joint service offered by the Belgian, French, Dutch and German railways. In addition to the original routes, Thalys is also connecting three new German destinations – Düsseldorf, Duisburg and Essen – and Brussels Airport. The red high-speed trains have transported more than 96 million passengers since services began.

Where do you see the future of the Thalys train 10 years from now?

Our ambition is to be the most competitive and the most sustainable transport solution. To answer a growing need for safe and affordable mobility, we will continue to improve our services, developing our network of destinations as part of a multimodal transport offering in Europe.

On board the high-speed Thalys train

On board the high-speed Thalys train

What can you say to convince North Americans to take a ride on one of your trains?

Thalys is the fastest and most sustainable way of transportation to visit the 4 countries of Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Every day, Thalys offers a unique onboard experience, with stylish high-speed trains linking Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne at 300 km/h. Thalys offers its customers comfortable seats, WiFi, quality catering, and professional service thanks to a multilingual staff. Welcome to our world!

  • Matt Risher

    About an hour and 20 minutes!

  • Trent Sawyer

    Around 1 hour and 20 mins, give or take a few mins.

  • Thomas Reiser

    1 hour and 22 minutes

  • Carol Studenka

    1 hour and 22 minutes

  • Neil Anderson

    one hour and 22 minutes

  • Maggi Lunde

    1 hour, 22 minutes

  • John Mac

    One hour and twenty-two minutes


    1 hour-17 minutes

  • joeymegatron

    1 hr. 22 min. Smokin’ fast!

  • blondiemcl

    1 Hr 22. Mins, I love Thalys trains!

  • Rfkrd

    1hour, 22min

  • John M. Becker

    1 hour 22 minutes :)

  • Colin Werth

    1 hour 22 minutes. I love high speed trains!

  • John Tamosiunas

    1 hr 22 min.

  • Ramon Alejandre

    1 hour 30 mins

Copyright © 2015 Rail Europe, Inc. All Rights Resrved