August 18, 2014

NS to acquire stake in Thalys?

Written by  Quintus Vosman
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NS to acquire stake in Thalys? Quintus Vosman

NETHERLANDS Railways (NS) could be poised to acquire a stake in Thalys, the operator of high-speed services between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, and Essen, according to reports in the Dutch media.

Rotterdam-based daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported last week that NS is keen to acquire the 10% stake being divested by German Rail (DB). The remaining shares are owned by French National Railways (SNCF), and Belgian National Railways (SNCB).

Since the collapse of Fyra cross-border services between Amsterdam and Brussels early last year Thalys has been the only high-speed operator on this key route, a position which has helped to bolster the operator's financial performance. Thalys has also launched a successful Amsterdam – Brussels – Lille service.

NS already participates in Thalys on a limited basis, providing ticket sales and facilitating operations in the Netherlands through its operating license and safety certificate. Nedtrain, the rolling stock maintenance subsidiary of NS also services Thalys trains at its Watergraafsmeer depot in Amsterdam and NS owns two of the TGV sets used by Thalys.

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