Belgian Rail trials reservations on Coast Express

Over a thousand passengers booked a rail ticket to the Flemish coast on Coast Express trains last weekend.  State-owned rail company NMBS will now evaluate the experience.

A reservation system is being tested in a bid to provide Covid safe travel on days with big demand this summer.

For the rail company this was clearly a test weekend.  Passengers travelling from the stations of Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and Liege to Ostend, Knokke, De Panne or Blankenberge were able to reserve a seat on direct services for the price of one euro.

The rail company was eager to test the practicalities of the reservation system.  “We certainly learned something” said company spokesman Temmerman, “An evaluation will now follow.  We will be quizzing the passengers, who booked a ticket.  Following a thorough evaluation we will decide how to organise matters this summer”.

Belgian Rail intends to run Coast Express services targeted at day-trippers during the entire summer holidays following repeated demands from coastal mayors to manage passenger flows more adequately.

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