'Unacceptable' train cuts could hit 68,000 commuters in Belgium

'Unacceptable' train cuts could hit 68,000 commuters in Belgium
© Belga

Infrabel's request to the SNCB to cut a hundred or so trans-Brussels trains on a daily basis from mid-October until mid-November is "unacceptable" said the commuters' association Navetteurs.be.

If taken, the decision would cut the number of available seats by 91,000 and could impact 68,000 travellers, the outraged organisation communicated on Tuesday.

"We are once more sorry to learn through the press that Infrabel is taking a decision without any regard for common sense and without taking the impact on travellers into account. Following threats of line closures, Infrabel requires the SNCB to modify its proposal for a month in order to carry out its works without taking into account the impact on 68,000 travellers who are already being subjected to numerous inconveniences daily. While some rush-hour trains are already overcrowded, the imposed measure would reduce the number of available seats by 91,000," said Navetteurs.be spokesman, Gianni Tabbone.

According to information revealed in L'Echo, the infrastructure operator is proposing not to run all rush-hour trains ("P trains") departing for Brussels. Infrabel must this autumn effectively modernise its facilities and equipment south of Bruxelles-Midi station. These works will require the complete closure of the Nord-Midi junction during the long weekends of November 1 and 11. Considerable disruption is also expected on October 14 and November 8. Infrabel would effectively be obliged to shut down no less than 30% of railway points on the approach to Bruxelles-Midi station.

"This measure once more demonstrates the collaboration problems between the SNCB and Infrabel. We cannot accept these train cuts and demand Infrabel goes back to the drawing board as a matter of urgency!" Tabbone reacted.

The Brussels Times

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