This summer, the Belgian national railway company NMBS/SNCB launches a special ‘off-peak summer subscription’ that allows passengers unlimited access to all train transport.
The subscription ticket costs 59 euros (or €99 for two) and can be used on weekdays (from 9 a.m.), weekends, and holidays (all day). This new formula, however, is only available for existing subscription ticket holders.
The newly introduced ‘Summer Abo’ (Abo is short for the Dutch and French word ‘abonnement’ (=subscription)) is intended “to thank loyal customers/commuters by offering them an exclusive benefit and promoting leisure trips during off-peak hours,” the press release states.
The Belgian national rail is determined to win as many people as possible to travel by train for leisure trips. Train transport has always been very popular in summer to tourist attractions like the Belgian coast, the many festivals, and animal parks.
Beach tourists will be happy with the ‘Coast Express’ (Kust Express), a fast and direct connection to the Belgian coast. After a pilot project last summer, a reservation will not be necessary this year.
Last summer, NMBS/SNCB experimented with a reservation system on trains to and from the Belgian coast, but the system could count on little support. The idea was to limit the flow of tourists to the coast to avoid unsafe situations. This year, the coastal trains will ride from Saturday, July 2nd until August 28th.
And NMBS/SNCB also has other promotions this summer, like the ‘Duo Ticket’ admitting two passengers for the price of one standard train ticket. In addition, youngsters (26 or younger) can benefit from the ‘Youth Holidays’, giving them unlimited access to the train during the school holidays for 18 euros a week or 29 euros a month.
Those aged 65 (or more) will also get their money’s worth. They can buy a Senior Ticket or a ‘Discovery Ticket’ this summer to travel half price to a series of musea, animal parks, exhibitions, or amusement parks.
“Now that fuel prices are going through the roof, NMBS/SNCB is trying to make its fare offer even more inviting to attract more new passengers,” says Minister for Mobility Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) in the press release.
“Summertime is an ideal moment to (re)discover our country,” he continues. “And the train is an ideal means of transport. It is safe, comfortable, affordable, and good for the environment. Traveling by train always gives you a holiday feeling.”
Besides the 555 destinations in Belgium, NMBS/SNCB also offers train trips to more than 3 600 international destinations, spread over 12 European countries.