Share article:
Share article:

Belgium launches free rail pass scheme

Credit: Belga/A Gekiere

After several delays, Belgian railway company SNCB launched a website on which citizens can apply for their promised free rail pass, on the last day of the summer holidays.

The free pass, which holds 12 free train rides for every Belgian resident over 12 years old, was part of a government decision to revive the tourism sector after the coronavirus crisis by promoting travel within the country.

As announced last week, the pass will only be valid from 5 October, but applying for one will be possible from today until 30 September, on the website hello-belgium.be.

Anyone who has applied for one, will receive the paper rail pass by post after 8 to 10 days, according to the company. The pass will be registered to your name, and travellers will be able to use it for a maximum of two journeys per month, for a six-month period.

Related News:

 

“The aim of the measure is to encourage Belgians to take the train to discover or rediscover our beautiful country and all its facets or to make a journey of their choice,” said François Bellot, Federal Mobility Minister in a press release.

The twelve-journey pass is valid on all SNCB trains, across the entire Belgian railway network. Passengers must fill in their pass before boarding the train, and show it to the train conductor together with their identity card.

“The start date for the use of the rail pass was postponed by the National Security Council from mid-August to 5 October. Of course, we will continue to closely monitor the epidemiological situation,” Bellot said.

The website has been experiencing technical difficulties throughout the day, with reports of long loading times and an error message. These issues, however, appear to be quickly fixed.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Beglium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...