High-speed rail lands at Brussels Airport
BRUSSELS, June 9 — The extended Diabolo line links Brussels Airport to the high-speed rail networks that run between Brussels and Antwerp for the first time, meaning that high-speed trains could soon be able to stop at the airport on their way between the two cities.
The Brussels to Antwerp link forms part of the wider high-speed rail networks which run between Paris and Amsterdam, currently served by the Thalys high-speed service, which also covers the route to Cologne in Germany.
Currently, most passengers needing to access Brussels Airport must change at Brussels Midi. With the road between Brussels and its airport also heavily trafficked, the Diabolo line had already vastly improved ease of access to the airport, offering four trains an hour from Brussels Midi.
Now, it can also be used to provide another useful connection for passengers arriving in Europe — Brussels’s strategic location means that it’s around two hours from Amsterdam and London and 90 minutes from Paris.
However, a Thalys spokesperson told Relaxnews that there are no current plans to add a Brussels Airport service to the Paris to Amsterdam route, although increasing the one-a-day service between Paris and Brussels Airport was an option for the future, she said.
The immediate key benefit will be the use of a dedicated line for the high-speed rail trains, enabling them to reach 160km/h on the new tracks with no other rail traffic, likely reducing incidents and delays for passengers.
However, if the service is expanded to include regular stops at the airport, it could provide a superb option for those able to take cheaper flights to Brussels, rather than Paris’s airports — Thalys tickets from the airport to Gare du Nord station in Paris start from just €29 (RM142) one way, only around €20 more than the RER between Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport and Gare du Nord. — Afp-Relaxnews