The other two partners in Thalys are French National Railways (SNCF) with a majority 62% holding and SNCB, Belgium, with the remaining 28%.

DB operates four ICE trains a day in competition with Thalys on the Brussels - Cologne - Frankfurt corridor, and plans to launch a new service from Frankfurt and Amsterdam to London in 2015. Conversely, Thalys has cut back the number of trains it operates to Germany in favour of stepping up the Paris - Amsterdam frequency.

Nevertheless, Thalys achieved an 8.4% increase in turnover last year to €470m, while passenger journeys rose by 3.1% to 6.6 million. Thalys extended one train a day from Cologne to Düsseldorf and Essen last year which attracted 22,000 new riders. As a result, it plans to run three trains a day on the route this year.