After plans to go through with the project to extend the destinations the Eurostar could go to were pushed back due to COVID, things are now back on track.
Pushed back by COVID
Though the project was first talked about back in 2019, with plans to get it working by mid 2020, the coronavirus had others plans for UK travellers unfortunately...But now, Eurostar has announced a merger with French-Belgian high-speed train operator Thalys. Sophie Dutordoir, CEO of Belgian rail company SNCB and chairman of the board for Thalys, told Euronews:
This merger project is based on the firm belief that trains are the most sustainable, fast, efficient and safest way to travel in Europe—now more than ever.
What are the new European destinations?
Starting this week, the Eurostar will be connecting UK travellers to more destinations in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and, for the first time ever, have a direct train to reach Germany. Eurostar CEO Mike Cooper explained that:
As you may be aware, the shareholders of Eurostar have today announced their ambition to bring together Eurostar and Thalys, the French-Belgian high speed rail operator, to create one unified European high speed rail company.
This is an exciting development for our customers as it will enable us to offer you a more extensive network, increased connectivity and frequency of service and a fleet operating on renewable energy.
By joining forces with Thalys we will be able to expand our reach and at the same time provide a powerful response to the increasingly serious climate change challenge and the growing demand for sustainable travel.