Window seats only rule will only apply on trains heading for the coast 

A spokesperson for the Federal Transport Minister Georges Gilkinet (Francophone green) has given more clarity about the new rule designed to limit the number of people on trains heading to popular tourist destinations. Speaking on Friday, Mr Gilkinet’s spokesperson said that the new rule that stipulates that only window seats may be occupied will only apply to rail services bound for terminus stations at the coast. 

Passengers using services from the coast to inland destinations will be able to sit where they like. The rules will apply during the Easter holiday period (from 3 to 18 April) and during the weekend of 24 and 25 April. The aim of the measure is to limit the number of day trippers that head for the coast and to prevent over-crowding both on the trains and at our coastal resorts. The window seats only measure does not apply to children under the age of 12.

It fell to the Federal Transport Minister to decide which rail services would fall under the measure. Mr Gilkinet has decided that it should only apply to services to our coastal resorts and not to other popular tourist destinations such as the Ardennes. Those returning from the coast will also not be impacted by the measure.

The ministerial decree that turned the measure into law stipulates that the Belgian rail company NMBS is responsible for its enforcement. Extra stewards will be deployed in the stations to control the flow of passengers. Police assistance will be called in if necessary.

NMBS will give more details on the practicalities of the measure sometime next week. 

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