Large train station: Thalys trains receive design award in Essen

More space, more storage space, more seating comfort: Thalys wins Red Dot Award in Essen. About a special honor on the platform.

It is a known fact that there is a large sum in Essen when the design world meets once a year to award the Red Dot Award at Zeche Zollverein. An impressive limousine park in front of the front door, helicopter rotors under the hall’s ceiling and a floating body in the stairwell have long been known to visitors to the Red Dot Design Museum. But there has never been a whole high-speed train that comes by to pick up the prize in Essen. That is a big station for Thalys, who this year won the Red Dot Product Design Award 2022 for his new train design.

28 extra seats, more storage space, ergonomic seats, a softer lighting concept and generally more comfort – the new Thalys type developed by Belgian designer Axel Enthoven and French designer Matali Crasset scores with numerous innovations. Above all, the combination of design aspects aimed at sustainability combined with a new, inviting look has convinced the Red Dot jury on many points, says Peter Zec. The initiator and CEO of the Red Dot Award is full of praise for the winner: “The newly designed Thalys shows how comfortable traveling by train can be.” from a painful experience. Due to a morning break at Paris Central Station, the award-winning train could only arrive late at Essen Central Station on Monday afternoon on its initial journey.

This does not detract from the festive mood on Lane 4. A group of journalists, TV cameras, a few spectators and a number of the 48 international jurors in the annual Red Dot competition stood in line on Monday afternoon to give the newly revised Thalys a suitable reception . It now has not only a red dot, but also a red color concept throughout. The new seat covers are red, the bar tables in the new on-board bistro are red, and the flooring is red.

The first redesigned Thalys is now running on the route between Dortmund and Paris. By the end of 2025, all 15 trains running on the German route and bringing travelers from the Ruhr area to the French metropolis in just under four hours should be freshly revised, says Philippe Moureau. The train manager has been a railway worker for over 40 years and has been aboard the Thalys for years now, so he knows exactly what the new Thalys has to offer during the trip. Two luggage carriers on top of each other, which increase storage space by 15 percent, more legroom between the opposite seats, USB ports at each seat and new screens with real-time passenger information in the event of a delay.

“We are confident that we can inspire more people in Europe to travel by train with the enhanced travel experience,” said Bertrand Gosselin, Vice President and COO Thalys & Eurostar, at the platform on platform 4, where Thalys repeatedly spoke out Goesselin’s speech breathes in. Traveling by train is still not quiet, but it should become more environmentally friendly. The French train operator promises that the optimization measures will reduce CO2 emissions per passenger and per kilometer by up to 10 percent.

Of course, not all the Red Dot winners, who are celebrating a big prize-winning gala on Monday night after a two-year forced break in the Aalto Theater, traveled by train. Participants from the USA to Taiwan, Switzerland to China, Finland to France are among the winners this year. According to the Red Dot Design Museum, about 7,900 products from about 60 countries were submitted this year, of which 120 were awarded “Red Dot: Best of the Best”, the highest award.

These current milestones in international product design, which were selected by the international jury in the 51 categories of the competition, will be presented in the exhibition “Milestones in Contemporary Design 2022-2023” until next year. The range ranges from excellent headphones to hand prostheses, from solar panel cleaning robots to sports cars, from pressure cookers to sailboats, from ergonomic sex toys made of porcelain to multifunctional Ray-Ban glasses, whose frame now also includes two HD cameras, Open-ear speakers, microphones and a invisible touchpad is integrated. The new dimension of experience, it does not just rush into Essen at top speed.

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