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Plan in the works to increase bicycle capacity in trains
Rail service SNCB is drawing up a plan to create more capacity for bicycles in trains. The number of people wanting to board a train with a bicycle has doubled over the last decade, according to the service.
While a long-term strategy is meant to be approved by June, SNCB will replace the kinds of trains headed to the coast and the Ardennes this summer. Double-decker trains and other models that can carry more bicycles will service those areas more often to allow more passengers to load their bicycles on the trains.
Over the longer term, the plan calls for double-decker models to replace old models that are not adapted to bicyclists, either for lack of space or stairs that are too steep to easily get the bicycle in and out. To be clear: The changes are for regular bicycles, not folding bicycles, which are used by commuters and often stored under or between the seats.
By 2024, every train will have been adapted to be able to carry at least 24 bicycles. By the end of 2025 enough old trains will have been replaced to allow a total of 6,700 bicycles a space, up from 4,450 today. Trains that are equipped for easy bicycle loading will at that point be 47% of the fleet, up from 29% today.
SNCB is also adding to its bicycle parking capacity across Belgium, with 150,000 spot planned by the end of 2028, compared to 108,000 now.
Photo courtesy SNCB