National railway operator SNCB confirmed on Tuesday that it expects many people to take the train to the coast in the coming days, and that it is therefore putting extra Coast-Express trains into service at least until Monday.
Previously, a post on its website read that, "due to the beautiful weather, many travellers are expected on the trains to the coast this week," and that, as a result, people may have to wait longer in the station before boarding a train with available seats. Via the SNCB app, travellers would be alerted about busy trains if they turned orange or red in the schedule.
The company's spokesperson Dimitri Temmerman now confirmed to Belga News Agency that, on top of the increased offer during the summer months, a total of eight trains will travel to the coast on weekdays. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be ten trains.
Fastest way to the sea
"Coastal Express" trains are part of the enhanced summer offer and the trains that are deployed if the weather is good. They stop in Ostend, Blankenberge, De Panne and Knokke.
"If your train is a Coastal Express, you know it's the fastest way to get to the coast without changing trains," Temmerman said. However, the trains work in the same way as others, meaning travellers do not need to make reservations, they only need a valid train ticket.
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Temmerman stressed that, even with the increased offer, it can be busier than usual in the trains and stations. "So travellers may have to wait longer in the station before they can take a train with enough seats available," he added.
The company has asked travellers to prepare their journey and consult the app to find out whether trains are busy, and to avoid the rush hours if possible.