On the 14th of december the NMBS (the Belgian Railways) released a new timetable. Since that day there’s a constant stream of complaints, complaints about overloaded, delayed and slow trains. Politician and ex-judoka Jean-Marie Dedecker added fuel to the fire saying in Knack that it takes two hours (in truth the fastest connection is 1h49) to get from Veurne to Brussels and if you want to travel through to Genoelselderen (by the way, there is no train station in Genoelselderen) you have to find a hotel for the night.
To all those criticizing public transport I would like to say: yes there’s a long way to go. But on the other hand you have to be honest. I you decide to live in a rural area and need to go to work in the capital you need to keep in mind that you probably paid less for your house / building grounds, but your travel time will increase. And if, at that point, you decide to use a car to cover the 135 km to Brussel to ‘gain’ (one could also think you lose time in a car and gain time on a train) 24 minutes (traveling time from Veurne to Brussels is without traffic jams 1h25), it will be the other civilians who will pay the marginal external costs (the costs of these effects of transport generally not supported by the transport users).
On the other hand… If you chose to live closer to big cities, you might pay some more for your house, but you will get proper public transport solutions. Since the new NMBS timetable I have, during rush and in both directions, hour 8-9 trains per hour to Antwerp and to 4 trains to Brussels.
It’s all about making the right decisions.
PS: Even better, I really think I can (almost) beat both car and train on the route to Antwerp on working days.