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Rail News: New Cheap Thalys Trains!

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My latest Thomas Cook email regarding their famous Continental Timetable for trains gives this update on Thalys trains between Paris and Brussels where the Thalys company is launching a new low-cost train service between Paris Gare du Nord and Brussels Midi - the new service is called Izy and be launched on April 3, 2016 with Thalys staff and Thalys branded trains -a no-frills service there will not even be a snack-bar car - the train will only run between Paris and Brussels and on older slower-speed capacity lines and not the high-speed lines (to avoid paying high charges for accessing the high-speed line the Cooks folks say.

Tickets will only be available through the website www.izy.com and certain select agents.

To start the new service will have just two round trips daily with an additional train on Fridays and Sundays. Travel times will be between 2 hours 10 minutes and 2 hours 30 minutes.

Ticket start at €19 if booked up to two months ahead, going up to a maximum of €59 in 2nd class if booked at least an hour before departure. Larger 2nd class XL seats with an individual power socket (the equivalent of first class) are available for €69. Children under 12 will travel for €10 and rail passes will not be honored. 25 seats on each train will tip-up seats sold at €15 - there will be 10 tickets without the guarantee of a seat priced at €10 with standing room in the unused bar car (standees could be given a seat by a conductor if one becomes available for no shows! Seats can be upgraded to standard XL for €10 in advance or €20 on the station platform. Passengers will be limited to one large and one small item of luggage each, with extra luggage costing €10 if pre-booked or €30 if paid on the platform.

The last item about baggage seems to me novel to European trains - free one large item of luggage and a small item to carry on with extra bags being charged 10 euros if pre-booked or 30 euros !!!!! if paid on the platform - so Ryan Air meets Thalys trains in such shenanigans.

Anyway a new cheap no-frills trains service between Paris and Brussels to compete with the older and more expensive Thalys and French TGVs from Paris CDG Airport to Brussels.

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