June 29th, 2016 – Starting today, Thalys staff will be wearing their new uniforms for the very first time. The new collection symbolises two recent Thalys milestones: the reformation to a fully-fledged railway undertaking and its twentieth anniversary.
Service is key
Thalys employs 2,500 people, serving almost 7 million passengers every year. Every day, 847 amongst them welcome clients in different languages on board or on the platform. The new uniforms resonate like a new emblem for the company with the red trains that recently celebrated its 20th birthday, as well as its transformation into a fully- fledged railway undertaking.
Many of our Thalys employees are in direct contact with our travellers. They are by far the best ambassadors for Thalys. These new uniforms exude elegance and convey the Thalys values: excellent service, attention to our travellers, customer friendliness and high standards. We are convinced our staff members will be proud to wear them,
explains Agnès Ogier, CEO of Thalys.
Innovation and sustainability
Thalys did also identify some technical ambitions regarding its new uniforms: ergonomic, comfort for all body types, adaptability to different climates, quality and safety of materials. Therefore, an international expert was called upon to create them: Cepovett, a leading French group in professional clothing.
Bertrand Camus, Director of Services at Thalys, summarises the intentions behind the design:
Structured cuts that give employees the choice between a sportier or more classical look; an innovative mindset, a stand- out dynamic identity, relying on the dialogue between matching colours.
This means that the red and grey of the carriages are joined by a contemporary navy blue and that we find accessories and highlights in violet and fuchsia throughout the collection, which clearly goes beyond the typical classical Thalys bordeaux and crimson.
Drivers, train managers, customer service agents, stewards and hostesses all perform their role in making the journey enjoyable for their travellers. In their new uniforms, they’ll welcome customers at the door of each carriage, provide guidance, inform them of any disruptions and resolve any issues they might have. They further check their tickets, serve the meals and snacks (exclusively in Thalys’ Comfort 1 class), or even book taxis at certain stations. Of course, they’re equally responsible for ensuring the safety on-board and the technical and operational management of the trains.
18 months passed since the launch of the European tender until delivery of the uniforms. This time was needed for the tailored design of the uniforms, which have a general lifespan of 7 years: Thalys’ previous line was designed by the German designer Eva Gronbach in 2009.
Both Thalys and Cepovett care about the environment. As part of their commitment both companies will collect the old Thalys uniforms for recycling. They’ll be given a new life as thermal and acoustic insulation by Cepovett.
Thalys: 1996 - 2016
In 20 years, Thalys has become more than a brand; it has become a European symbol. A symbol of Europe, Thalys and its red trains are testament to a vibrant Europe at the intersection of the Dutch, French and German languages and where travellers from all over the world converge.
Since 1996, Thalys has also been the only truly multicultural player to have succeeded in developing a high speed international railway across four countries. With journey times that are unrivalled still today - 1 hour 22 minutes from Paris to Brussels, 3 hours 14 minutes to Cologne and 3 hours 17 minutes to Amsterdam - Thalys is helping to bring the cultures and economies of 4 European countries ever closer together.
Thalys also serves the three German cities of Düsseldorf, Duisburg and Essen, and opened its new link to Dortmund in March 2016. On 3 April 2016, Thalys commenced operation of its new IZY trains, the new low-cost alternative between Paris and Brussels.
A hotbed of innovation, Thalys has created an exceptional service which is now the global standard, with the hallmark “Welcome to our world”: ergonomic comfort, a warm multilingual welcome, quality dining, and the range of extra services offered in Comfort 1. There is also the possibility of signing up to the Thalys TheCard loyalty programme to earn miles and avail yourself of an array of benefits. A pioneer in WiFi on high speed trains since 2008, Thalys now offers free Wifi to all passengers travelling in Comfort 1 and Comfort 2.
To enhance efficiency, smooth traffic flow and further improve service and customer satisfaction, Thalys became a fully-fledged railway company on 1 April 2015.