Coronavirus: Which international trains are running?
Friday, 20 March 2020
International rail traffic to and from Belgium is heavily disrupted due to measures taken in order to curb the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
As of Saturday, there will be no more high-speed trains (TGV) running between Brussels and France. The last TGV left Brussels Midi train station for Lyon, France on Friday morning. The TGV line will be suspended for a yet-to-be-determined time frame.
Intercity train traffic to and from Northern France is also disrupted with only 30% of the usual trains running between Tournai and Lille and no trains at all between Mons and Aulnoye, nor between Namur and Maubeuge. 80% of the trains between Courtrai and Lille are circulating.
The Benelux train of the Dutch NS will only run at an hourly frequency between Antwerp and Rotterdam. According to NS International‘s website, “travellers who already have a ticket for the Intercity Brussels train can also use this on the section between Amsterdam and Rotterdam and/or the section between Antwerp and Brussels South/Midi as an extension of the shortened Rotterdam – Antwerp Intercity trajectory.”
Austrian company ÖBB’s night trains will keep running but will only go from Brussels to Vienna, with Innsbruck not being served.
Thalys and Eurostar
Earlier, Thalys announced that only 15% of its trains would keep riding from Saturday. The company says it’s adapting to decreased demand due to authorities’ new measures.
Eurostar is also significantly reducing its offer, with only two trains operating between Brussels and London, and three between Paris and London.
All of this follows the news on Friday afternoon that Belgium is closing its borders to all non-essential travel. Virologist Marc Van Ranst told VTM Nieuws on Thursday that closing the borders “would make everything more simple,” as reported in Het Laatste Nieuws.