The formalities for requesting assistance depend on what journey you will be making. Below you will find the general arrangements for providing assistance to persons with reduced mobility for domestic and international rail travel.

Domestic travel within Belgium

  • No later than 24h prior to making a journey from these 132 stations
    For a journey with or without a connection

Book online or by calling +32 (0)2 528 28 28 (open every day from 7 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.)

  • No later than 3h in advance when departing from these 41 stations
    For a journey without a connection between 6.30 a.m. and 9 p.m. and between any 2 of the following 41 stations:

Aarschot, Antwerpen-Centraal, Arlon, Oudenaarde, Blankenberge, Braine-le-Comte, Brügge, Brussels Airport-Zaventem, Bruxelles-Central, Bruxelles-Midi, Bruxelles-Nord, Charleroi-Sud, Kortrijk, Denderleeuw, Gent-Dampoort, Gent-Saint-Pierre, Genk, Hasselt, La Louvière-Sud, De Panne, Libramont, Liège-Guillemins, Lier, Lokeren, Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve, Mechelen, Marloie, Mol, Mons , Namur, Nivelles, Ostend, Ottignies, Rochefort-Jemelle, Sint-Niklaas, Dendermonde, Tournai, Turnhout, Verviers-Central, Zottegem.

You can only make a booking by calling +32 (0)2 528 28 28 (open every day from 7 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.)

Report at least 20 minutes prior to the departure of your train at the agreed meeting point, ready to present your your travel ticket. If you have a connecting service during your journey, allowing a period of 15 minutes is recommended.

Persons with reduced mobility without a wheelchair or whose disability allows them to be able to get out of their folding wheelchair and to get on board the train without the use of a mobile ramp, can also take advantage of a service providing assistance in other Belgian stations depending on the availability of staff and by following  the booking procedure up to 24 hours in advance.

Book your assistance online

Find out about the facilities provided by your station

 

Travelling abroad

  • No later than 48h prior to your departure

1. Buy your international rail ticket

Eurostar, Thalys and TGV® offer a special price with a designated seat (subject to availability) for your wheelchair in 1st class and for your carer, which allows you to be able to travel without getting out of the wheelchair.

Book your rail tickets by calling +32 (0)2 432 38 01 (from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and at weekends and on public holidays from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.)

2. As soon as you have bought your ticket, book your assistance

Book online by visiting SNCB International or by calling +32 (0)2 528 28 28 (open every day from 7 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.)

On the day of travel, report at least 30 minutes (Eurostar : 60 minutes) prior to the departure of your train to the agreed meeting point.

 

After you have made your reservation online or by phone on 02 528 28 28 (daily from 7 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.), wait for confirmation from our assistance service.

Once your assistance is confirmed, you are guaranteed that:
  • somebody will help you get in and out of the train
  • auxiliary equipment is available (mobile ramp, etc.)
If necessary, the Contact Center will suggest an alternative.

Receive free confirmation of your assistance by SMS.
Please tick the option 'I would like to receive confirmation of assistance by text message' when making your reservation online or inform the operator during your reservation by phone.

  • Adapted counters, equipped with a system so that hearing impaired people with a hearing aid can hear what is being said.
  • Clear signage to make it easy to find the meeting point where the assistance staff will pick you up.
  • Assistance kiosks to contact the staff responsible for assistance (available at most stations).
  • Trained assistance staff to meet the needs of everyone with reduced mobility.
  • Wheelchairs, available in some stations.
  • Mobile ramps (adapted to the different platform heights): to facilitate getting on and off the train. Only SNCB personnel may use these mobile ramps. When boarding, a secure procedure is applied. Before boarding or disembarking a person in a wheelchair, a signalling lamp will be placed on the train. In this way the train conductor knows that a person with reduced mobility is boarding or getting off.
  • Adapted trains: these trains have a number of coaches that are more accessible (accessible toilets, easy access to the coach, etc.). In most trains, the announcements are not only announced but also visually displayed.
  • Our website has been designed to be easily accessible to all users. For example, the site is compatible with speech synthesis and for conversion to Braille.
At SNCB you can enjoy these different types of assistance free of charge for your train journey:
  • Assistance for blind or partially sighted travellers
  • Assistance for passengers with reduced mobility without a wheelchair or other mobility aid, who can board the train without a mobile ramp.
  • Assistance for passengers with reduced mobility in non-folding wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs or other mobility aids, who cannot leave their wheelchairs and for whom the use of the mobile ramp is necessary in order to get in or out of the train.
For safety reasons, the total weight and dimensions of the wheelchair must not exceed 300 kg, 75 cm width and 120 cm length.

Book online or call 02 528 28 28 (open every day from 7 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.)

For information purposes, we send you confirmation of your assistance booking by SMS (this SMS is free).

You will receive a confirmation SMS for each dossier. A dossier includes all the different types of assistance provided on the same day. If assistance is provided on different days, it will be split into different dossiers. You will receive a separate SMS for each dossier.
For example, if you book assistance every day for one month, you will get a separate confirmation SMS for each dossier: 20 bookings = 20 SMS.

The confirmation SMS is sent to you once the assistance booking procedure has been confirmed. If an assistance booking cannot be confirmed, the Contact Centre will get back in touch with you to suggest an alternative.

If your mobile number changes, please give us your new number when you make your booking by telephone or internet.

You will receive the SMS in your chosen language. If you receive a confirmation SMS in the wrong language, please let the Contact Centre know through the contact form or by telephone.

The SMS starts with the words “SNCB Assistance”. It summarises the basic details of your assistance booking (SNCB Assistance, dossier number, date, departure time, departure station, destination station and the return time and return station where applicable). The SMS is limited to 160 characters.

  • If you have a Belgian mobile phone number, the confirmation SMS will be sent from 8833.
  • If you have a foreign mobile phone number, the confirmation SMS will be sent from a number that varies depending on your operator.

N.B.: station names are limited to a maximum of 15 characters.
For example: "Louvain-la-Neuve-Université" = "Louvain-la-Neuv"

  • Example for a single journey:

SNCB ASSISTANCE
dossier 2013-04-03-0001
05/04/2013
Outward 14:15
from Ottignies
to Brussels-Midi

  • Example for a return journey:

SNCB ASSISTANCE
dossier 2013-04-03-0001
05/04/2013
Outward 14:15
from Namur
to Brussels-Midi
Return 18:30

Please note that where a journey involves a change of trains, the connecting station is not given in the confirmation SMS.

  • For example: you are requesting assistance to travel from Ghent-St-Pierre to Ottignies. Assistance is booked during the transfer at Brussels-Midi, but it will not be mentioned in your confirmation SMS.

SNCB ASSISTANCE
dossier 2013-04-03-0001
05/04/2013
Depart 10:30
from Ghent-St-Pierre
to Ottignies
Return 18:30

  • Telephone bookings: When booking by telephone, ask our Contact Centre operator to send you a confirmation SMS.
  • Online bookings: When booking online, tick the field “I would like to receive confirmation of assistance by SMS” on the online form.
    This service is separate from the confirmation email you will receive if you make an online booking.

The confirmation SMS is sent to you once the assistance booking procedure has been confirmed. If an assistance booking cannot be confirmed, the Contact Centre will get back in touch with you to suggest an alternative.

It is not possible to make or change a booking by SMS.
The 8833 number is only used for sending assistance confirmations by SMS. It cannot be used to communicate with the Contact Centre.

To change or cancel assistance, get in touch with the Contact Centre (, (+32 (0)2 528 28 28 open every day from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.).

To request assistance, contact the Contact Centre at least 24 hours before the start of your journey by:

Our station staff will do their best to help you, but cannot guarantee assistance in case of unavailability of equipment or people in charge of this mission.
Notify our Contact Center by telephone on 02 528 28 28 (open every day from 7am to 9.30pm).
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