Severe delays expected as Belgian rail staff strike

2014-06-30 09:49

Brussels - European train passengers have been warned they face fresh strike action just as the summer holiday season begins, after a Belgian rail union announced it would take industrial action on Monday.

The SNCB, the Belgian national rail company, said it was expecting "severe disruption" with the walk-out due to hit both national and internation rail lines.

Both the Thalys network, which travels between Belgium, France, and Germany, and Eurostar, which travels to the UK, could be affected.

The railway workers union ACOD/CGSP said Friday it had called the 24 hour strike because the network is so understaffed that workers are unable to take days off.

While negotiations are still ongoing with management, the union told its members to prepare to strike between 22:00 local time on Sunday until Tuesday morning.

A SNCB spokesman said while the strike may not hit the entire network it was hard to predict the knock-on effect of union members staying home.

"The unions are damaging the image of SNCB by striking, they are sabotaging their own business," Jo Cornu, the head of the rail company, was quoted as saying in the Belgian press on Friday.

Thalys said that while it hoped to run as normal a service as possible, it was expecting delays and recommended that people due to travel to the region postpone their trips where possible.

Eurostar warned that the strike was expected to cause "major disruption across the Belgian rail network... (and) it may become necessary to cancel some services as well as introduce an amended timetable to and from Brussels".

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded earlier in the week during a strike by air traffic controllers in France, with after a number of flights cancelled.

Earlier in the month, France's rail network was hit by a crippling week of industrial action, with up to two-thirds of high-speed trains cancelled at the peak of the week-long strike.


Read more on:    travel  |  travel international

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.