"About half of the rail services can be maintained on Saturday"

The Belgian rail company NMBS has worked out an alternative duty roster for Saturday, when the independent rail union is organising a strike. The NMBS claims that about half of the normal rail services can be maintained, which is good news for festival-goers wanting to reach Pukkelpop. 

Under new rules, staff now have to say several days beforehand whether they will down tools or not. Using these data, Belgian Rail calculated how many links can be maintained. Travellers will be able to check the alternative schedule online, on the NMBS website and the app, as from tomorrow. 

Belgian Rail says "we tried to give priority to the trains linking the big cities and the trains to Pukkelpop (the music festival in Kiewit, near Hasselt)." Most S-trains (linking suburbs to cities) should also go. However, the NMBS warns that a number of smaller stations will not see any trains coming at all.

Rail staff complains that it's hard to take up holidays due to a staff shortage, but the management says this problem is being addressed as new people are being recruited. 

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