Just over half of the scheduled services were operating. The disruption was felt across the country.
Earlier in the day, Frieke Neyrinck of the Belgian rail company NMBS stated: “The disruption is considerable and is being felt across the country. It is unclear how the situation will develop. This depends on how many people will join the strike in the course of the day.”
The rail company was urging passengers to follow the situation on information screens in the stations and via the NMBS website or via the company’s Twitter account. The NMBS said it was doing its utmost to limit the disruption to the travelling public.
The level of disruption varied from location to location. Only one in four trains was operating on the line Ostend-Brussels. On the Brussels-Leuven run it was one in five.
Services between Antwerp and Brussels were largely unaffected by the strike by the small ASTB union that chiefly recruits in Francophone Belgium.
The union is protesting against the new bonus system and wages.
International services including Eurostar and Thalys are not supposed to be hit by the strike. These services should be running on schedule, but there is always a risk that a group of strikers may decide to block the rails.
Flandersnews.be / Expatica