SNCB to change opening hours of almost all train station ticket offices

Railway operator SNCB will adjust the opening hours of ticket offices at most Belgian stations from 1 March. Only four will remain unchanged, according to a list obtained by Belga on Wednesday.

The company announced last week that there would be changes at 54 of the 91 stations that still have ticket offices. These included 33 stations where offices would no longer be open at weekends. Others will close on Sundays or will only open in the mornings during the week.

Four stations – Eupen, Kapellen, Puurs and Visé – will be unchanged. At others, opening hours will change. Some will open later in the morning or close earlier. 

Except at Brussels Midi, ticket offices will no longer open after 20.00. In major stations such as Antwerp Central, Brussels Airport and Leuven, services will be reduced by at least two hours each weekday.

SNCB justifies its decision by the sharp rise in sales online and at machines. Only 10 per cent of tickets are still sold at ticket offices, compared with 50 per cent in 2015.

No ticket office will close completely on 1 March, and waiting rooms will remain accessible.

Unions say the measure will reduce the service to passengers and want to see details of plans for staff affected by the changes, and the impact of the measures on passengers, particularly those with reduced mobility.


Illustration picture shows people waiting to buy a train ticket at Mechelen station © BELGA PHOTO CHARLOTTE GEKIERE

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