Andreas Kockartz/VRT

Skeleton service on the railways on Wednesday

Rail traffic is expected to be seriously disrupted as a result of Tuesday's planned rail strike.  The Belgian rail company NMBS is forecasting that only one train in three will run.

It's the independent rail workers' union OVS that is downing tools from 3AM on Tuesday for 48 hours.  The union is unhappy about the way the job of train driver is being upgraded. Two other unions are joining the protest.

As a result of new legislation employees willing to work have to notify the rail company beforehand to allow it to work out a roster and a skeleton service.

The rail company intends to focus on intercity services that connect the big conurbations like Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.  A number of local and Brussels suburban services will run.  Most commuter services will not operate. The rail company is urging passengers to consult its route planner online to see if their service is running.