Étoile du Nord (train)

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Étoile du Nord
Advertising poster for the Étoile du Nord, 1927.
Service typeExpress train
CIWL luxury train
Express train
Trans Europ Express (TEE)
InterCity (IC)
EuroCity (EC)
StatusReplaced by Thalys service
First service15 May 1924 (1924-05-15)
Last service1 June 1996 (1996-06-01)
Former operator(s)Nord / SNCF
TerminiParis Nord
Brussels Midi/Zuid /
Amsterdam CS
Service frequencyDaily
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Route map
PBA routes; Étoile du Nord red, Thalys blue

The Étoile du Nord was an international express train. It linked Paris Nord in Paris, France, with Brussels, Belgium, and, for most of its existence, also with Amsterdam CS in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its name meant literally "Star of the North" (North Star), and alluded not only to its route heading north from Paris, but also to one of its original operators, the Chemin de Fer du Nord.


The Étoile du Nord in Paris Nord station

From its introduction in 1924 until 1927, the Étoile du Nord was a Rapide between Paris Nord and Brussels Midi/Zuid, and was operated by the CF du Nord and the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB). In 1927, it became a luxury train between Paris Nord and Amsterdam CS, via Brussels, and was operated by its original operators, along with the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL). There was one train per day in each direction.[1]

In 1937, the CF du Nord became part of the SNCF. Two years later, in 1939, the Étoile du Nord was suspended upon the outbreak of World War II. In 1946, the train was revived, initially as a Rapide. In 1957, it became a first-class-only Trans Europ Express (TEE). In June 1984, it was downgraded to a two-class InterCity,[2] but three years later, it was reclassified as one of the inaugural EuroCity trains.[3] On 2 June 1996, it was replaced by an unnamed Thalys service.[4]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "High Speed Trains are Killing the European Railway Network".
  2. ^ "Summer services, 1984" (changes taking effect). Thomas Cook Continental Timetable (May 1–June 2, 1984 edition), p. 64; also pp. 65–66, 473. Peterborough, UK: Thomas Cook Publishing.
  3. ^ Thomas Cook Continental Timetable (May 31–June 30, 1987 edition), pp. 472, 475. Thomas Cook Publishing.
  4. ^ "Summer services from June 2" (changes taking effect). Thomas Cook European Timetable (May 1–June 1, 1996 edition), pp. 3, 52, 515. Thomas Cook Publishing.


  • Malaspina, Jean-Pierre; Mertens, Maurice (2007). TEE: la légende des Trans-Europ-Express [TEE: The Legend of the Trans Europ Express]. Auray: LR Presse. ISBN 978-29-03651-45-9. (in French)
  • Malaspina, Jean-Pierre; Mertens, Maurice (2008). TEE: la leggenda dei Trans-Europ-Express [TEE: The Legend of the Trans Europ Express]. Salò: ETR – Editrice Trasporti su Rotaie. ISBN 978-88-85068-31-5. (in Italian)
  • Mertens, Maurice; Malaspina, Jean-Pierre; von Mitzlaff, Berndt (2009). TEE - Die Geschichte des Trans-Europ-Express [TEE - The History of the Trans Europ Express]. Düsseldorf: Alba Publikation. ISBN 978-3-87094-199-4. (in German)

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