'Stop and go': special rules apply for trains to the coast this weekend

If you have plans to take the train to the coast this weekend, beware of some special rules that will apply for Saturday and Sunday: "There are many good reasons to come to the coast, but maybe not this weekend." The measures were taken to avoid that too many day-trippers would flock to the coast, after last weekend's problems. 

  • First of all, a number of tourist trains has been cancelled. This means that the trains that are still going, could be busier. 
  • The capacity will be limited to 80 percent. If a train is almost 80 percent full, all passengers in the next station will automatically be subject to a "stop-and-go": each person will be stopped at the platform, with security staff asking where you are heading. 
  • If you want to go the coast, you will be refused if you were planning a simple day trip. Only those that can prove that they have a home there, those with a reservation for the night, or those who go there for work, will be allowed on the train. 

Bart Crols, spokesman of the Belgian Rail company NMBS, is asking passengers in the latter case to bring a document that can explain their situation. He warns that the number of inspection teams of Securail and the rail police has been stepped up. "There are many good reasons to come to the coast, but maybe not this weekend", Krols says. 

This weekend's outcome will be used as a basis for (possibly) similar measures next weekend. However, this morning, there was no rush in any of the main stations in Brussels, Antwerp or Ghent. Another measure that will apply from today, is the ban on strong alcoholic beverages.  

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