From 22:00 on Tuesday 4 October until Wednesday 5 October 22:00, rail traffic across Belgium will be severely disrupted due to a 24-hour strike announced by the joint union front, national railway company SNCB announced on Monday.
After rail unions had previously called on the Federal Government to adapt its rail budget to grant them more resources to tackle staff shortages and declining working conditions, they are now taking industrial action. This has been brought forward from 18 October with the intention of putting additional pressure on the Federal Government as it discusses the 2023-24 budget.
"The alternative train service will ensure that a quarter of trains will run during the strike. Of the IC trains between major cities, two trains in five will run. Additionally, one in four L-trains and S-trains will also run," the company said in a press release.
"Virtually no P-trains, which usually only run during the morning and evening rush hours, will be running across Belgium."
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In the provinces of Namur and Luxembourg, no trains at all will be running on Wednesday as there will not be enough staff to operate the railway company Infrabel's signal boxes, necessary to keep rail traffic running safely. In a number of other stations across the country, few or no trains will stop. SNCB advises all affected passengers to work from home if possible or look for an alternative.
Elsewhere, signal boxes will function normally, allowing for the foreseen alternative train service. Disruptions may be worse in some provinces than in others, depending on staff who have indicated that they will work.
Full details will be available from Tuesday morning via SNCB's online journey planner, via its app or website, and its social media channels. The screens in the train stations will only show trains running during the strike.
From Thursday morning 6 October, train services will resume as normal.