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chris Jun 8th, 2001 10:09 AM

Belgium State Railways
Can anyone comment on the Belgium Railways? <BR> <BR>We were considering taking it from Brugges to Ypres (sp?) for the day to visit the battlefields there, etc. On their website it looks to be about a 2 hour train ride. <BR> <BR>We will not have a car & are relying on public transportation & I have read where the buses are not reliable. <BR> <BR>thanks.

Ishoo Jun 8th, 2001 10:24 AM

I am surprised to hear that you were informed that the buses in Belgium were unreliable. I was under the impression that ALL public transportation in northern Europe was quite good. Since we are leaving for Belgium on 11 June, I am looking forward to more input regarding this post. We are planning several trips by rail but mainly within Belgium.

top Jun 8th, 2001 12:35 PM

to the top for chris & ishoo

lisa Jun 8th, 2001 02:30 PM

Took the train from Brussels Airport to Brussels Midi and also from Brugge to Schaerbeek and then from Schaerbeek to the airport. All on time and (in my opinion) relatively inexpensive (of course I was not going long distances). I rode 2nd class which was perfectly fine, nothing luxurious but I didn't care. The Thalys from Brussels to Paris & back was nicer & very fast but still nothing fancy -- the main thing is that all the trains were on time.

Myriam Jun 8th, 2001 03:24 PM

Chris, You couldn't have chosen a worse traject! The distance between Ieper (Ypres) and Brugge is only 70 km but the trainride takes at least 1 h 35 min because there is no direct connection and you will have to change trains in Kortrijk. Bus, if any, will take longer. Trains and bus schedules are reliable.

BTilke Jun 8th, 2001 03:29 PM

Given that you have to change in Kortrijk, why not take an early train and look around the town for a bit, an hour or so. I visited it for a couple of hours last year. They have a small, pretty beguinage--not as appealing as the one in Brugge, but still pleasant and a lot less crowded (I was the only one touring it that day), a nice church nearby, and an attactive "place" where you could have a drink. <BR>I've taken the buses several times and have had no problem except for one day when they were striking, but that's about it. <BR>BTilke

Al Jun 8th, 2001 06:16 PM

There is an excellent alternative. Last September my wife and I engaged a fellow in Bruges who runs daily tours in his own minivan to Ypres and the surrounding battlefields. If you are interested, e-mail us directly and we will look up his name, phone number, etc. He is a native, ran a hotel in Bruges, wanted to spend more time with his family, speaks excellent English, and really knows the territory. Great value.

chris Jun 8th, 2001 09:13 PM

thanks for the suggestions. <BR>I didn't realize Ypres was so close...yet so far away. :) <BR> <BR>

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