Residents can apply now for free rail passes


Anyone with a National Register number can receive a train pass good for 12 single journeys from and to anywhere in the country

Valid for six months

Applications have now opened for those free 12-journey train passes that were announced in June. The free trips are to boost tourism around the country in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Originally, people were asked to apply for the passes in August, but it was postponed to prevent crowding on trains this summer. While applications are now being accepted from any resident of Belgium 12 and older with a National Register number, the passes are not valid until 5 October.

The free pass, called Hello Belgium, allows two single journeys a month between 5 October and 31 March, to a maximum of 12. This latest delay, until October, was agreed after consultation between the NMBS, transport ministers and coastal mayors, who have been concerned about the number of day-trippers visiting the seaside this summer.

“We had requested a postponement of this measure for obvious health security reasons, so that the NMBS can continue to transport passengers in the safest possible way,” said NMBS in a statement.

Photo ©James Arthur Gekiere/BELGA