Express train traffic between Germany and France was already partially interrupted during the first wave of the corona virus. In the second wave, the private operator Thalys, which operates between France, Belgium and Germany, has also discontinued its connections to Cologne and the Ruhr area. This will change again from mid-December, albeit slowly. This can be seen from the provider’s timetable data.
A daily connection from December 14th
The first daily connection can again be booked with Thalys from December 14th, when the express trains will run again from Cologne via Aachen, Liège and Brussels to Paris. This means that there is again a connection in less than three and a half hours from Cologne to Paris and in less than two hours from Cologne to Brussels. It goes in the late morning from Paris to Cologne and in the afternoon back from Cologne to the French capital:
The offer will be expanded from February 1, 2021, when a second daily connection will be added, which leaves Cologne in the morning and arrives in Paris around noon. This train will then also be the first connection to run on the entire route again for almost two weeks. For the first time on February 19, the Thalys will run again from Dortmund via Essen and Düsseldorf to Cologne and from there on to Paris – but this only applies to one of the two trains:
A further expansion of the offer is currently not yet recognizable in the timetable until the end of March. Before the crisis, Thalys operated up to four times a day from Dortmund to Paris and offered an excellent alternative to flights on the routes between North Rhine-Westphalia and the French capital. However, it can be assumed that Thalys will expand its offer again in the course of the coming year, as soon as the quarantine regulations are relaxed and tourist trips are also possible again.
Conclusion on the Thalys return to Germany
The Thalys will finally be running again from Cologne to Paris from mid-December – but only once a day for the time being. From February, the supply will be expanded, although Thalys is only expecting a conservative return in demand. It remains to be seen when there will be more connections between North Rhine-Westphalia, Brussels and Paris.