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400 more trains take to rails on SNCB's new schedule
As it does every December, national rail authority SNCB launched its new schedule on Monday, which includes an additional 400 trains. Much of the additional service is concentrated on early and late hours in and around urban areas.
Some of the increased services includes an extra Kortrijk-Schaerbeek route, direct routes between Brussels and Leuven and more trains between Blankenberge and Kortrijk.
A new train station in Anderlecht, which opened at the weekend, will be added to the S3 train route between Zottegem and Dendermonde. That route takes in Brussels South, Central and North stations. Ghent’s main train station, meanwhile, will see more late-night trains leaving and arriving on Saturdays.
Transport organisation TreinTramBus points to continued weaknesses in the network, particularly in Limburg. Passengers must wait another year for the promised fast line between Hasselt and Antwerp, and cities such as Genk and Sint-Truiden still only have one train an hour.
TreinTramBus also calls SNCB’s weekend service “markedly weaker” than its weekday service. The organisation asks that passengers provide feedback, whether positive or negative, on the new schedule.
The SNCB's increased service that launched this week is part of a broader plan to increase the number of trains by 1,000 over the next three years. About one-fifth of those would be at the weekend.