Rail strike: 60% of trains will run on Saturday

The Belgian rail company NMBS says that 6 out of 10 of its services will run during tomorrow’s strike by members of the Independent Rail Union OVS. Earlier this week the union confirmed that its members that work as train guards will strike after talks with rail company bosses broke down. The train guards are unhappy at staffing level. 

Staff shortages have meant that many guards have been unable to take annual leave. The strike will start at 3am on Saturday morning and will continue until 3am on Sunday morning.  

Despite the strike NMBS assures passengers that services will be maintained on lines that service stations near to festivals such as Tomorrowland and the Ghent Festival and to popular day trip destinations such as the coast.  

An alternative timetable will be in operation for the duration of the strike. 60% of services will run.

During the day all the S-Trains to Boom (Antwerp Province), where the second weekend of the Tomorrowland dance music festival will take place will run, as will the three special night trains. The night trains will carry passengers from Boom to Antwerp.    

The lion’s share of IC to and from the costal resorts of West Flanders will run. These are trains to and from Ostend from Eupen (Liège Province) via, Liège, Leuven, Brussels, Ghent and Bruges and Genk (Limburg Province to Blankenberge service via Hasselt, Leuven, Brussels, Ghent and Bruges.    

However, most of the extra tourist train services that are laid during the summer months to destinations at the coast and in the Ardennes won’t be running on Saturday. The strike will also mean that in a number of small stations few if any trains will stop on Saturday.

NMBS advises passengers to check that their train is running before leaving for the station.