Belgian rail invests up to €40 million to facelift smaller stations

Belgian public transport operator NMBS/SNCB invests between 30 and 40 million euros a year in a facelift for its smaller stations until 2032. This will include investments in accessibility and signaling and an expansion of bicycle and car parking facilities.

NMBS/SNCB has 555 stations, including 20 large ones, 80 medium ones, and 455 smaller ones. Less than 10,000 passengers, or 20% of passengers, take the train every week.

30% more bicycle parking spaces

The intention is that those smaller stations will receive uniform platform equipment. This will include new shelters, benches, rubbish bins, signage, station clocks, and illuminated information boards.

The crushed stone still on specific platforms will be replaced by cast asphalt. The stations will also get totems, making them stand out in the streetscape. LED lights will replace lighting.

Bike and car parking facilities will also be expanded and renewed. By 2032, the aim is to expand the number of bicycle parking spaces by 30% and the number of car spaces by 7% across the country.

Autonomous access

By 2032, the number of stations with autonomous access should also double to 176. This means that all platforms are elevated and accessible by lift or ramp, there are guidelines for the blind and visually impaired, and at least one ticket machine is easily accessible for everyone.

The focus is on the larger stations to reach the most travelers, but 40 smaller stations will also be tackled.

The investments are part of the public service contract that NMBS/SNCB entered into with the federal government in 2023.

Just last year, NMBS/SNCB aroused resentment by reducing the opening hours of ticket offices, often also in smaller stations. In such smaller stations, however, the waiting room and sanitary facilities remain accessible to passengers.

For spaces in these stations that are no longer used, NMBS/SNCB, in consultation with the local administration, is actively looking for a new use, such as in Rochefort-Jemelle, where a catering establishment was created in the former ticket office space.

The station of Rochefort-Jemelle/NMBS/SNCB


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