Fuckin’ NMBS

The Belgian National Railways (known as NMBS/SNCB) really totally suck. Completely and utterly.

Today, yet another strike in Brussels South station, causing endless delays and cancellations.

Do you think the managers of the railways notice this? Ofcourse not. They might even get another bonus for ending a strike without having to give anything to the employees. The only ones who suffer are the travellers, who after a long day of work just want to get home.

I support the right to strike, but they’re really stretching it. No more sympathy from me, strikers!

Trains and the lack of being on time

In Belgium, if you want to get somewhere on time – don’t take the train.

For the third year counting, the trains have been even less on time. According to the NMBS/SNCB, 89.3% of all trains arrives on time (this is 1.5% less then last year). This is a very wrong way of calculating, since this doesn’t take into account:

  • delays up to 5 minutes
  • cancelled trains
  • missed connections

If you take all that into account, only 47% of all the trains in 2007 was on time!

(source: vrtnieuws.net)

Out of personal experience, I can say that this the 47% is way more accurate – in the 1.5 months I’ve been taking the train, not half of them were on time. Usually you either depart too late and arrive later, depart on time and arrive late, miss connections, suddely stand still in the middle of nowhere with no reason given. On average I’ve been 10-15 minutes late getting somewhere. The top is 45 minutes, thanks to a missed connection (because of the first train being too late).

And yet they keep on saying that the train is the best medium to get somewhere… sure, if you don’t care when you get there.