SNCB will expand its services significantly as part of its 2020-2023 transport plan, which aims to expand its offering by 4.7% in the next three years.
From December 13, SNCB will provide a new Intercity (IC) service between Kortrijk and Schaerbeek, via Oudenaarde, Zottegem, Denderleeuw and Brussels.
Additionally, SNCB will make improvements to its existing weekday IC, suburban (S-train), and peak-time (P-train) services this year:
- IC De Panne - Ghent service will run to Antwerp on school holidays
- IC Kortrijk - Brussels - Welkenraedt service will now stop in Ans
- IC Liège Guillemins - Gouvy - Luxembourg will now run hourly and stop in Esneux
- Zottegem - Brussels - Dendermonde S-train now stops at Anderlecht
- Antwerp Central - Sint-Niklaas S-train now runs half-hourly, and now stops at Nieuwkerken-Waas during rush hours
- Ottignies - Charleroi - Namur - Jambes S-train now runs to Wavre during off-peak hours and stops in Limal and Bierges-Walibi
- Liège - Verviers S-train now continues to Liège Saint-Lambert
- Bergen - Tournai S-train now continues to Mouscron and stops in Froyennes
- Wezet - Brussels South P-train has two additional services to Brussels during the morning rush hour and two from Brussels during the evening rush hour and will now stop in Leuven
- new P-train services between Blankenberge and Kortrijk
- additional P-train services between Gembloux and Jemeppe-sur-Sambre
- two Brussels - Mol P-train services will be extended to Neerpelt, one per direction, in June 2021 following the completion of electrification
- additional late services to and from Liège, Namur, Mons and Charleroi
- an extra late IC service from Antwerp Central to Turnhout, and
- an extra late train from Brussels to Mechelen.
SNCB will also reinforce its IC, S-train and local (L-train) weekend services, with:
- IC Mechelen - Leuven services now stopping in Hever
- Ghent Sint-Pieters - Geraardsbergen S-trains stopping in Landskouter and Balegem South.
- Zottegem - Brussels - Schaerbeek S-trains now running on weekends and stopping at Anderlecht, Hillegem, Terhagen, Ede and Welle
- Liège Guillemins - Waremme S-trains stopping at Bleret and Voroux
- Ghent Sint-Pieters - Bruges - Zeebrugge-Strand L-trains now running hourly between Bruges and Zeebrugge-Strand
- Geraardsbergen - Bergen L-train stopping in Frameries, Genly and Quévy
- Libramont - Virton L-trains running every two hours to Arlon via Aubange and Athus from May 2021, following line upgrades, and
- additional late trains to and from Ghent Sint-Pieters running on Saturdays.
“This month, 50 new projects will be implemented: extra early and late trains around the cities, new connections between the cities and higher frequencies on existing connections,” says Ms Sophie Dutordoir, CEO of SNCB.
Spanish operator Renfe has announced that it will adjust the schedule of its Madrid - Cadiz Alvia and Granada - Madrid AVE from December 13.
The 11.05 service from Madrid to Cadiz will be replaced by an 08.30 service to offer an earlier departure time. The 13.30 and 17.28 trains will remain in place.
The 10.50 service from Cadiz to Madrid will be replaced by an expanded 13.33 service, which will now run daily. At present, the 13.33 service only runs on Sundays. The 08.15 and 17.28 services will remain as they were.
The adjustments will maintain the current daily offer of three trains per day, per direction on the route, apart from public holidays where services will be reduced to two trains per direction.
On public holidays, departures from Madrid will be at 11.05 and 16.10, and departures from Cadiz will be at 10.50 and 17.28.
Renfe will also replace the 07.10 Granada - Madrid AVE high-speed service with a 15.46 afternoon service on Sundays and public holidays, due to high public demand. The service will continue to operate on a morning schedule Monday-Saturday, with a slightly adjusted time of 07.14.
German Rail (DB) has announced that it will expand its long-distance services under the new timetable.
DB will increase the frequency of its Berlin - Hamburg service from 46 to 60 trains daily to provide a half-hourly frequency, offering an additional 6000 seats on the route per day.
Bonn - Berlin Intercity Express (ICE) services will increase by 10 to 14 services per day, including daily connections to Neuss and Mönchengladbach, and a new connection to Erkelenz.
DB will also collaborate with Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to introduce a new Munich - Zurich Eurocity Express service, which will take over operation of the route by the end of 2021 with a frequency of 12 journeys per day.
DB will also operate 100 special Christmas Intercity and ICE services between December 18 and 27 on its Berlin - Hannover - Cologne; Berlin - Braunschweig - Kassel - Frankfurt Main - Mannheim - Stuttgart; Berlin - Erfurt - Nuremberg - Munich; Hamburg - Hannover - Frankfurt (Main) - Karlsruhe; and Munich - Nuremberg - Frankfurt Main routes.