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Eurostar and Thalys join forces

SNCF Group rail companies Eurostar and Thalys have formalized their merger through the creation of Eurostar Group, a new holding company. The move marks the first big step for this new player in Europe’s sustainable high-speed mobility market.

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As we announced on 29 April, Eurostar Group now holds 100% of shares in Eurostar International Limited and THI Factory SA (Thalys). The two companies will continue to operate as fully functioning rail companies, headquartered in London and Brussels respectively.

Eurostar Group is owned by:

  • SNCF Voyageurs1 (55.75%)
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (19.31%)
  • SNCB2 (18.5%)
  • funds managed by Federated Hermes Infrastructure3 (6.44%)

The shareholders chose Eurostar CEO Jacques Damas as Chief Executive Officer of Eurostar Group. He will be supported by an executive committee representing both Eurostar and Thalys.

A single brand with ambitious goals

The combined entity—now Western Europe’s largest high-speed international network—will expand the continent’s rail transport capacity and meet growing demand for sustainable passenger mobility. It aims to carry 30 million passengers annually within 10 years, up from 18 million in 2019. Both companies will operate under a single brand: Eurostar.

The tie-up will also play a powerful role in accelerating the two rail companies’ recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and deploying a bold environmental policy over the next few years.

Green light from European Commission

The merger project, dubbed Green Speed, was first proposed in September 2019 but postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis. Relaunched in autumn 2021, it was approved by the European Commission in late March 2022.

1 SNCF Voyageurs is SNCF Group’s subsidiary for passenger rail in France and Europe.

Learn more about SNCF Voyageurs

2 SNCB (Société nationale des chemins de fer belges) is Belgium’s national railway company.

Learn more about SNCB

3 Funds managed by Federated Hermes Infrastructure hold 6.44% of shares through Patina Rail LLP.