Belgian rail to trial silent carriages

Belgium’s state-owned rail company NMBS is launching a pilot to test silent carriages.  Silent carriages will be trialled on the Ostend-Brussels-Eupen run and in a later stage on Brussels-Luxembourg City too.

“Passengers will have the option of a conventional carriage where they can chat with friends, colleagues or relatives or a silent carriage where they will have an easier time concentrating or relaxing” the company notes.

Silent carriages are second class.  Passengers travel at the usual fare and won’t have to make a reservation.  The silent carriages will be at the head or rear of trains and will be clearly recognisable thanks to a pictogram on the exterior and interior.

“To maintain peace in these carriages passengers are advised not to speak out loud or to telephone, to moderate earphone noise levels and to set mobile phones on silent mode” says NMBS.

During the trial period passengers in silent will regularly be quizzed about their experience.  North of the border silent carriages have been running for over two decades.

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