TreinTramBus wants compensation for stranded Thalys passengers

TreinTramBus wants compensation for stranded Thalys passengers
Thalys high-speed trains also got stuck during last week's heat wave. © Belga

This summer's transport disruption has impacted not only the aviation sector but also trains, including the high-speed Thalys train. Passengers have been stranded for hours in scorching heat due to various technical difficulties the rail operator faced.

Now, TreinTramBus and the Dutch passenger association Rover want passengers who get stranded with Thalys to receive compensation. In a letter, the two companies call on Thalys and high-speed transport operator NS International to reimburse extra costs to travellers and to take preventative measures.

On Tuesday, Thalys CEO Jacques Damas apologised to stranded passengers in an email on Tuesday. However, according to TTB and Rover, transport companies are required to help stranded passengers, as they are entitled to up-to-date information, assistance and, if necessary, a hotel.

"Unfortunately, this has not been the case in recent weeks," their letter reads.

"Despite obligations in the Rail Passenger Rights Regulation, Thalys customers did not get what they were entitled to. Some passengers organised their continuation of their journey with other means of transport or paid for hotels themselves."

TTB and Rover "assume that Thalys will compensate these travellers in full, we believe that you are (morally) obliged to do so."

Thalys response

Both travel companies call for passengers to be evacuated from the train at a quicker speed in future, although Thalys already announced it would take this measure.

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Moreover, Thalys said it would cut its timetable and draw up "extensive maintenance plans" for its trains, while the worst-hit passengers would be offered "more generous compensation."

"We are taking fundamental measures to improve our crisis management processes," said Thalys.

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