New Thalys high-speed train record
A Thalys high-speed train has reached a record speed of 331.1kmh during a test run between Rotterdam and the Belgian border. The test run was held on the new high-speed line HSL-South. The test runs started two weeks ago and are designed to test the railway and the new European safety system ERTMS. On 2 March, the last test run will take place in the Netherlands and test runs will then be conducted in Belgium. The new high-speed Amsterdam-Paris railway is scheduled to open in April 2007.
Belgian ski pistes open
Several ski pistes opened in the East Cantons on Tuesday. The snow cover is 10 to 25cm and is said to be of good to excellent quality. Cross-country skiers can head to the pistes of Malmedy (Mont Spinette), Baraque Michel, Mont Rigi, Signal en Centre nature de Botrange, Baraque Fraiture, Gouvy, Odeigne (Béniké), Spa (Géronstère), Samree, Elsenborn (Herzebösch), Rocherath (Eifel-Skizentrum), Wirtzfeld en Losheimergraben. Alpine skiers can head to Ovifat, Baraque Fraiture en Trois-Ponts (Val de Wanne). More information is available at www.eastbelgium.com.
Belgian ‘deposits’ upset supermarkets
Dutch supermarket owners near the border with Belgium are happy when their southern neighbours pop in to do their shopping. They are not so happy about the Belgians coming to collect deposit money (statiegeld) for returning soft drink bottles. Dutch supermarket group CBL said its members have complained to Coca-Cola about the problem. The latest model of large Coke bottle introduced in the Netherlands is identical to the one sold in Belgium. There is no deposit system in Belgium so many people on the border are now using the automated bottle-return machines in Dutch supermarkets to get money back on their Belgian bottles. Dutch supermarkets cannot recoup this money.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news