Diesel locomotive and water bags to rescue 500 passengers

Up to 500 people were trapped on a Belgian railways train for several hours on Sunday. The train fell to a standstill around 3:30 PM on track between Ghent and Brussels on one of the hottest days of the year so far. As there was no electricity, there was no airco on the train and windows could not be opened. Eventually, a diesel locomotive was deployed to tow the train back to Ghent. Passengers received water on the train, but only after a considerable amount of time had passed.

The train was without power meaning that the trapped passengers were without air-conditioning in the sweltering heat. Several passengers took to social media to vent their anger at their plight.

One irritated passenger told VRT News that the situation was untenable. Several passengers experienced problems as a result of the heat. Passenger Phillip Blondeel: "The temperature is rising as we speak in the boiling sun. It feels like 38° Celsius. People are stripping. Some of the passengers are pregnant. There are children and old folks."

"We're by a field, but are not allowed to alight"

Belgian rail sent officials to the train bearing bags of water. The water arrived, but it took a lot of time. "We haven't noticed much help. One door has been opened to allow in some air. That’s about it."

Our stranded passenger is not impressed by the rail company's line of communication: "We're getting totally useless information. We could get off the train. We're by a field, but they won't allow it."

"Everyone is okay, but there are a lot of old folks"

Later fellow passenger Lora Hasenbroekx (pictured above) reported that she had been given a bag of mineral water: "We've been here for two hours now and they just handed us some bags of water. It's still very hot. Everyone in our carriage is OK, but there are a lot of old folks. Presumably they were returning after a day at the seaside."

Belgian rail has had to suspend all traffic on the fast route between Ghent and Brussels. Eventually, a diesel locomotive came to the site to tow the train back to the station of Gent Sint-Pieters. The train had been standing still for 2 hours at that moment.