SNCB tests silent compartments on trains
Belgium’s national railway company on Tuesday began testing silent compartments in trains, in a pilot phase that will run until 31 May, the SNCB said on its website, confirming a report published 10 days ago in the Flemish press.
The first silent zones are on trains between Eupen and Ostend, and Brussels and Luxembourg. Passengers can choose between a conventional carriage, where they can chat as usual with friends or colleagues, or a carriage “where silence, even concentration and rest, are required.”
The quiet areas will be located in second class. Passengers do not have to pay extra to sit there, and no reservations are required. The zones are located at the front or rear of the train and can be recognised by the 'silent zone' stickers placed on the outside and inside of the cars concerned.
To guarantee peace and quiet in these zones, the SNCB requires passengers to speak as softly as possible, put their mobile phones on silent mode, and reduce the volume of their headphones.
During the test months, flyers will be regularly distributed to passengers in the silent zones to canvass their opinions.
The concept has been in use in the Netherlands for more than 20 years.
© BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT