- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Three days of strike action on Belgian trains this week
Three days of successive strike action on Belgian railways will bring disruption to train services from 22.00 on Monday evening.
Tuesday will be the worst day for travellers, with the three main trade unions representing SNCB and Infrabel workers all calling a 24-hour walkout in protest against "insufficient investment" in the rail network.
One train drivers' union, the SACT, has also voted to extend Tuesday's strike by a further 48 hours, affecting some rail services on Wednesday and Thursday - but the impact will be less severe than on Tuesday.
Unions said in a joint statement that the 29 November walkout was a call for the government to be more ambitious in developing sustainable rail travel in the country.
They said the federal budget for rail travel remains insufficient. Unions are also protesting against "the persistent deterioration of working conditions for railway workers and a lack of staff".
A minimum level of service will operate on Tuesday, with 40% of IC intercity trains and a quarter of S suburban trains expected to run. Virtually all P trains - extra rush-hour reinforcements on busy commuter routes - will be cancelled.
The strike disruption is expected to be greatest in Wallonia, with practically no trains running in Namur and Luxembourg provinces, and on some lines in Walloon Brabant. This is mainly due to a walkout by signal workers in Namur, who are responsible for ensuring the safe running of the Walloon network.
Real-time travel information will be available on www.belgiantrain.be and the journey planner on the website will be updated accordingly.
A certificate can also be downloaded from the SNCB website for anyone unable to attend work, school or an appointment because of the strike action.
The extended walkout by the SACT drivers' union on Wednesday and Thursday will also lead to some cancelled services. An alternative timetable will be available shortly.