On 13 December, the Thalys high speed train services will step up a gear, bringing Amsterdam and Cologne to within 3 hours 15 minutes of Paris. To start the countdown and celebrate the first high speed tickets going on sale, Thalys gave four of the leading graffiti artists in the four countries served by its trains (France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) carte blanche to spray-paint 4 Thalys coaches on 14 September at Paris Gare du Nord.
Their challenge was to match the speeds reached by Thalys and complete their task within 3 hours 15 minutes, the time it will soon take to reach Cologne or Amsterdam from Paris, whilst giving artistic expression to their city and the energy it radiates in celebration of the new connections between the four hubs: Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels and Paris. The result is a genuinely mobile art gallery carrying its dynamic and vibrant messages from one country to another at high speed. The art works will be visible in the 16 stations served by Thalys and along the 1000 km of track covered by Thalys routes until 13 December.
To date, more than 70 million passengers have travelled by Thalys between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne (of which 51% were “leisure” travellers, 49% “business " travellers and 39% travellers under 35).