Ryan Appelmans moved to Leuven from The Netherlands in order to study social work. He decided that it would be a fun way to spend his free time and to explore Belgium if he were to visit all 565 stations and stops on Belgium’s rail network.
"It started two years ago as a joke and now and again I visited another one. But I noticed that it was becoming more and more enjoyable and now I have visited a total of 105”.
Ryan Appelmans views his hobby as a means of integration and of getting to know Belgium better than most Belgians do.
"The most stations that I have visited in a day was 29. Then I went to Brussels by bike and I visited every station in Brussels. You see the beautiful but also the ugly aspects of the capital that you wouldn’t otherwise see”.
When Ryan Appelmans visits a station he doesn’t waste any time. “I often just get out quickly and take a selfie in front of the station sign. This often isn’t a problem at big stations, but at smaller stations it don’t usually work. Then I usually go for a walk in the village or town or walk on to the next station to take a photo there”.