Belgian and French railway operators SNCB and SNCF are planning a slower — but presumably cheaper — train connection between Brussels and Paris to “complement” the existing high-speed train link.
The rail companies announced on Tuesday that they’re considering a regular train service between the two capitals from late 2024, which would connect Brussels’ Midi station with Paris’ Gare du Nord, potentially making stops along the way.
The trip would take about three hours, and while it’s too soon to indicate a price range for tickets, they’d in any case be offered at a “competitive” rate, said SNCB spokesperson Bart Crols.
A trip between Brussels and Paris takes less than an hour and a half on the existing high-speed Thalys connection, but while some tickets are offered at €29, a last-minute ticket costs over €100.
The companies are pitching the plans as a “new alternative to road transport,” with a journey time that would fall between a drive — which takes about four hours — and the current high-speed connection.
The trains would run several times per day and rely on “conventional” trains that are adapted for international travel; timetable and intermediate stops are still up for debate. The companies are currently studying the plan’s feasibility.
“The ambition is to allow as many travelers as possible to travel along this international route, at a competitive price, and with the best possible travel time,” the companies said.