The most striking novelty is the new and fast IC connection between Hasselt and Antwerp Central (via Diest, Heist-op-den-Berg, Lier and Antwerp-Berchem) on weekdays, which we have always requested. “Thanks to this connection, train passengers can travel faster throughout the day between Antwerp and Hasselt and the stations in between,” NMBS reports. “Between Antwerp and Hasselt, it will take about one hour to travel.”
Furthermore, there will be direct weekday connections from Landen and Zottegem with the European region of Brussels. Landen will receive this direct line thanks to the extension of the train S9 Braine-l’Alleud – Brussels-Schuman – Leuven. This train will also stop at Vertrijk, Tienen, Neerwinden and Ezemaal.
As for Zottegem, the S8 Louvain-la-Neuve – Brussels-South, which runs through the European Quarter of Brussels, runs on weekdays to East Flemish (with stops also in Denderleeuw, Welle, Haaltert, Ede, Burst and Terhagen). Herzl and Heiligem). The train will also stop at Anderlecht station on the way. This station, which opened at the end of 2020, will receive a second S connection per hour on weekdays.
From now on every hour
In addition, there are additional early and/or late trains at various locations. This is the case on weekdays, for example, between Ghent-Sint-Pieters, Dendermonde, Ghent-Sint-Pieters and Aalst, and from Kortrijk and Ghent-Sint-Pieters to Brussels and back. On Saturdays there is an additional early train from De Panne to Lichtervelde and Gent-Sint-Pieters, and in the evening in the opposite direction. There will be additional late trains between Ostend and Kortrijk over the weekend.
Another update: the IC train from Antwerp to Brussels Airport and Leuven/Hasselt will from now on every hour between Leuven and Hasselt on Sundays and public holidays.
Due to works at Denderleeuw station, the S6 Aalst – Halle – Brussels – Schaerbeek train between Aalst and Denderleeuw will not operate. Travelers traveling between Aalst and Gerardsbergen must change trains at Denderleeuw, says NMBS. It is only possible to travel directly between Aalst and Gerardsbergen at certain times during peak hours.
As previously announced, the Benelux trains no longer run directly from Brussels to The Hague. Travelers to this destination must change trains in Breda or Rotterdam. All Benelux trains from Brussels (with stops in Belgium also in Mechelen and Antwerp, among others) will run from now on to central Amsterdam. That would be sixteen days in both directions.
The new schedule is part of the NMBS 2020-2023 transfer plan. This provides for a supply expansion of approximately 5 percent between December 2020 and the end of 2023. This would correspond to an additional 1,000 trains per week, NMBS said earlier.