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Thalys PBKA at Cologne Central station

Thalys is a high-speed train network built around the high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. This track is shared with Eurostar trains that go from Paris or Brussels to London via Lille and the Channel Tunnel and with French domestic TGV trains. The system uses two models of trains, the PBA and the PBKA, which both belong to the TGV (train à grande vitesse) family of high-speed trains built by Alstom in France, although they are not identical to domestic TGV sets.

Beyond Brussels, the main cities Thalys trains reach are Antwerp, The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Liège, Aachen and Cologne. Trains to these destinations run partly on dedicated high-speed tracks (some of these are yet to be built), and partly on older tracks shared with normal-speed trains. Plans to continue the line past Cologne to Frankfurt had to be abandoned because of the power the Thalys trainsets generate when operating under the 15 kV voltage system used in Germany is insufficient for operation on the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line.

Original and 2nd generation Thalys in Paris

Travel time from Brussels (Bruxelles-Midi) to Paris (Gare du Nord) is normally 1 hour, 25 minutes, for a distance of approximately 300 km. Peak speed is 300 km/h on a dedicated high-speed railway track.

The LGV (ligne à grande vitesse) link with Charles de Gaulle airport allowed Air France to withdraw its air service between Paris and Brussels; instead, Air France books seats on Thalys trains. Thalys has been given the IATA designator 2H. This is used in conjunction with American Airlines and Northwest Airlines. American Airlines has a codesharing agreement with Thalys for rail service from Charles de Gaulle airport to Brussels Midi. The airline alliance Skyteam also has a codesharing agreement with Thalys for rail service from Schiphol Airport Amsterdam to Antwerp's Berchem Station and Brussels Midi.

See also

External links

High-speed rail
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