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Government wants more late-night and weekend trains

15:30 14/04/2021

The federal government wants rail service SNCB to schedule more early-morning, late-night and weekend trains as well as to ensure some level of counter service in all of its stations. Those requests are part of the new management contract approved by the ministerial council, according to De Morgen newspaper.

The new contract between the federal government and SNCB comes into force in December of 2022, so the parties have more than 1.5 years to negotiate the terms. Rail service contracts last 10 years and determine what the SNCB must do to retain its federal funding.

While the demand for more trains during hours where the service is limited or non-existent was perhaps expected, the counter service is no doubt a direct result of the SNCB’s announcement earlier this year that 44 ticket counters would close.

Federal mobility minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) said that he wants the contract with SNCB to be based on “public service” and the contract with Infrabel – which manages rail infrastructure – to be based on “performance”.

“For years, rail police has been set without a clear political vision,” said Gilkinet. “Our goal is to get more passengers in the trains and more goods transported by rail.”

Photo courtesy SNCB

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw