Fare dodger hides under train

In Haren (Brussels Region), a train linking Leuven to Halle was halted for 40 minutes after a passenger that refused to pay for a ticket, had hidden herself underneath the train. The incident caused considerable disruption to the busy morning rush hour schedule.

Trains are often late in Belgium, and for various reasons. However, the Belgian Rail Company NMBS can't be blamed for this one, and to those passengers that have been on a delayed train before, chances are small that you have ever been confronted with this kind of cause.

The problems started when a train guard wanted to check the ticket of a fare dodger. "This gave rise to a long discussion, and it turned out that the passenger had no intention of buying a valid ticket on the train", Infrabel spokesman Frédéric Petit explains. "In the end, the woman just decided to crawl under the train wagons." 

"Due to the incident, the train only managed to leave Haren station 40 minutes behind schedule. Two other trains had delays of 15 and 25 minutes, while another service had to be cancelled."

The Leuven-Halle line runs right through eastern Brussels and is packed with commuters during rush hour, including those working in the European district.

The fare dodger was taken away by police for questioning. Belgian Rail intends to launch a complaint.