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Standing Room Brussels-Paris for €10 — Any Takers?


High-Speed operator Thalys plans to add a cheaper, slower train on its prime Brussels-Paris route. Starting in April, the new service, branded “Izy,” will run three round-trips daily on Fridays and Sundays, two on other days. Advance-purchase fares start at €19 one-way and increase to a top price of €59; a sort-of first class seat costs ­an extra €10 each way over any ticket. These fares aren’t “insanely” lower than regular Thalys tickets, winch start at €29, but they are lower, especially for last-minute trips.

But really chintzy travelers will have two other options: 25 tip-up seats per trip at €15 and 10 no-guaranteed-seats per trip at €10. That €10 “seat” means traveling in the bar car, flopping into an unoccupied seat (with the permission of the Train Manager), or standing.

Izy will be slower than Thalys, running from Brussels to Paris in 2 hours 8 minutes or more, compared with the Thalys timing of 1:22. As with the comparable all-French Ouigo, Izy passengers will be limited to one large and one small item of baggage.

Izy tickets are available online. I don’t see any reference to Izy on the main Thalys website. And, at least for now, Izy does not show any intermediate stops.

Ed Perkins, editor

For more travel tips from Ed Perkins, see our companion site Ed on Travel

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