Rail chief says that plans for free 10 journey tickets raise question about the safety of passengers and staff

The decision by the ten political parties that are supporting the minority Federal Government to give everyone living in Belgium a ticket offering 10 journeys on Belgian Railways free of charge was made without consulting the state-owned rail company. The Belgian Railways’ (NMBS) CEO Sophie Dutordoir expressed her reservations and concerns about the decision on the social media platform Twitter. 

Ms Dutordoir wrote that “It is a good thing that the government wants to promote public transport among the population as being a sustainable mode of transport. However, “The way in which the decision was taken yesterday without any form of consultation raises some very serious questions”. 

"Handing out free tourist rail passes to everyone resident in Belgium raises public health issues for passengers and staff. NMBS won’t allow the safety that we have worked so hard to ensure over the past few months to come under threat”

Ms Dutordoir added that “NMBS is requesting immediate talks and all the help necessary to avert any risk of trains and platforms becoming overcrowded. The logistical and financial aspect of this also need to be worked out”.