There were then two further train failures in the following days.
Here’s the second failure – the cause is under investigation.
‘Coincidence’: Passengers stuck for hours on Thalys for second time in a week https://t.co/yBIQ1qLVUe
— starflyergold 🕊 (@starflyergold) July 25, 2022
In the third incident, which happened a few days ago, Thalys’ 800 passengers (equating to a fully loaded train) were stranded overnight.
Granted this latest failure was not down to a technical error. Thalys had struck an animal on the mainline.
Yes, I know it’s not easy but the incident could have been handled better. Let’s face it, Thalys is a prestigious operator on the important Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris route albeit with a monopoly.
Brussels Times reports:
“During the evening the stricken train was evacuated and the passengers were given the choice of walking to a hotel [consider passengers were stranded remotely on a mainline]paying for a taxi to Brussels or staying in makeshift accommodation provided by the company.”
Those passengers who opted for the train found there was no power or air conditioning.
Why is Thalys short of capacity?
Because it has received no extra trainsets for over 20 years. In that time its market has grown and grown.
I believe this is the reason why Thalys canceled its IZY service, much to the delight of the bus operators. Axing IZY gave its parent operator more capacity.
It is true that pre-pandemic IZY had leased an 18-car trainset from Eurostar but, during the pandemic, that set was towed away for scrapping.
Railway media reports that Thalys is revising its timetable. Railtech.com quotes a Thalys spokesperson as saying:
“We regret this extraordinary situation. We attach great importance to customer satisfaction and will go above and beyond to resolve this situation the best we can.”
I suggest passengers check latest schedules directly with Thalys.