Brussels North overtakes South as busiest station

Summary

Brussels’ main train stations are the busiest in the country, with North taking first place over from South and Central seeing a decrease

Airport station growing

North Station in Brussels is now the busiest in the country, taking over first place from South Station, according to the national rail authority NMBS.

Last year North Station (pictured) saw a weekday average of 63,104 passengers, an increase of 8% on the year before. That came on top of a 24% increase recorded in 2014. At the same time, South Station saw a 1% increase in traffic, while Central saw a slight decrease. NMBS could suggest no definitive reason for the change.

After the Brussels’ stations, the next busiest in the country are Gent-Sint-Pieters, with 55,817 passengers on a weekday, and Antwerp Central with 33,614.

Another station to see a big increase in passengers was Brussels Airport, which grew by 7.2% in 2015 to an annual total of 4.2 million passengers. The station was unavailable for a few weeks earlier this year after the bomb attacks in Brussels Airport. The station is likely to grow further this year, with the opening of the new connection to Brussels Schuman.

The least busy train station in Flanders was Aarsele, near Tielt in West Flanders, with 24 passengers per day.

NMBS

Belgium’s national railway system was established in 1926 and is the sole provider of passenger train traffic in the country.
Overhaul - Starting in 2014, the railway system will operate under a two-pronged structure with transport division NMBS and infrastructure operator Infrabel. The umbrella organisation, NMBS Holding, will disappear.
Trio - NMBS comprises three organisational units: NMBS Mobility, NMBS Europe and NMBS Technics.
Criticism - The rail authority has frequently made headlines with continuing delays. The most common causes for delays are malfunctioning trains and infrastructure glitches.
223

million travellers in 2012

87

percent of trains on time in 2012

43

percent increase in female employees since 2005