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Belgian Government Has Raised Terror Alert in Brussels to Maximum Level

French press is reporting that the Belgian government has raised its terror alert to the highest level, 4, meaning an attack is immiment." The metro and pre-metro in Brussels are completely closed (this after the arrest yesterday of someone suspected of aiding in the Paris attacks.

Link to Brussels public transport system:
http://www.stib-mivb.be/index.htm?l=fr

US Embassy security notice:

http://belgium.usembassy.gov/security_messages.html

Posted by
32 posts

Thank you, Kim. I am scheduled to travel through Brussels twice in the next few days so we are trying to change or cancel our train tickets and plans for Amsterdam (going there took us through Brussels). The train companies are being less than helpful, especially the Eurostar. We'd rather lose the $500 we spent on tickets than to go to Brussels with a warning like that! Any advice in dealing with rail?

And as of 7 am this morning, I received this notice: The U.S. Embassy in Belgium warns American citizens in Brussels to ‘shelter in place and remain at home’ as authorities say threat of Paris-like terror attack is serious and imminent.

Posted by
5537 posts

Hi Lou -- Sorry that this is coming right in the time that you were planning to transit there.

Does the Eurostar ticket go only to Brussels, and then you change trains to go to Amsterdam? Or is the Eurostar all the way to Amsterdam.

The Eurostar is the ONLY train in Europe (that I know of) that does in fact have airline-type security that you have to pass through before being allowed to board, so if I was taking that train somewhere, I would feel reassured and I wouldn't change my plans. That's MY appetite for risk though and may not match yours.

if you have to change at Brussels, one thinks again that surely it would be okay, but again we can never know.

I don't know that you'll have any luck getting Eurostar (and/or the other train company if there is one) granting you a refund. I unfortunately don't have any brilliant ideas for trying to make that happen. All I can think of is that maybe if they end up having to cancel trains due to security concerns, then they'll have to refund everybody.

I'm sorry not to be able to offer better advice. Good luck to you as you try to figure out your next steps.

Posted by
23730 posts

BBC has confirmed that Brussels will remain under the Level 4 lockdown tomorrow, Monday, with the Metro, schools and universities all remaining shut.

Posted by
23730 posts

updated

BBC has again confirmed that Brussels will remain under the Level 4 lockdown tomorrow, with the Metro, schools and universities all remaining shut on Tuesday.

They state (and video shows) that most local people are staying at home. They are protecting Gare Midi (Zuid) but passengers boarding the train to Paris are being strict security screened.

Posted by
23730 posts

Further updated-

Reported by the BBC on Tuesday morning that the Level 4 lockdown will continue for at least a week, but they expect the Metro and the schools and Universities to reopen tomorrow - Wednesday.

Posted by
31030 posts

Lou,

If you still want to visit Amsterdam, it shouldn't be too difficult even with a train change in Brussels. Some of the EuroStar trips have one change at Brussels Midi, which only involves walking from one part of the station to the other (AFAIK - it's been a few years, so my memory is a bit foggy on that).