Train service reduced by half on Saturday due to strike
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    Train service reduced by half on Saturday due to strike

    © Belga

    About one in two trains will run on Saturday 17 August despite the strike called by the railway workers union, Belgium’s national railway company, the SNCB, announced on Thursday.

    Most of the trains toward the Pukkelpop Festival, the Coast and the Ardennes will be in service.

    The strike is the second by the Syndicat indépendant pour cheminots (SIC), following one on 27 July. The union complains that there is a recurring shortage of train guards.

    Under a guaranteed service worked out by the SNCB on the basis of the rate of participation of train guards in the strike, 53% of the trains will be up and running on Saturday. Travelers will be able to consult the schedules online from Friday morning.

    Priority has been given to trains between the big cities and those headed for the Pukkelpop in Hasselt (more than 70% of the trains are confirmed for the festival). Two out of three L trains will also be running, as against one in two S (suburban) trains.

    Most of the trains between Brussels and Ostend, Brussels and Blankenberge, and those bound for the Ardennes will also be available. However, trains will bypass the Knokke station. Most of the additional trains to the coast and other tourist destinations, usually scheduled during the summer holidays, will not be working.

    During the previous strike, three out of five trains were in service.

    The SNCB said it regretted “the inconvenience travelers may face as a result of this strike”.

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times