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Train ticket question from Paris to anywhere belgium?

After reading maninseat61 site, I went to the b-europe link to buy tickets from Paris to Brugges but am confused. We want to stop in Ghent to see the altarpiece before continuing to Brugges. I'm assuming we need to buy tickets from Ghent to Brugge also since we disembarked in Ghent for a few hours, but my daughter says she read we don't. Is she correct?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Posted by
4669 posts

Even if you buy the ABS add-on to Eurostar or Thalys, once you board the change of train at Brussels-Midi, you cannot interrupt your trip from there to Brugge. You might get away with it, but you might also get fined. Your daughter is wrong. ABS means any one Belgian station, not Every Belgian Station!

The fare for a ticket from Gent to Brugge is very small. It’s the possible line to buy it that could be annoying. Look at the ticket you bought. What happens after the conductor punches it and the next conductor (after Gent) sees that it has already been punched? He is going to crimp and date the edge of the printout.

Posted by
1451 posts

I don’t agree Tim and doubt if disembarking in Ghent and continue later to Bruges in this case requires another ticket. From Brussels to Bruges you will travel with local trains and as far as I know the rules are the same as for a standard point to point ticket. That means you have to travel the shortest route and can do that any time of the day the ticket is issued, you can hop off and continue later (the same day) as long as there is no backtracking. As Ghent is on the same line as Bruges you can visit it first and continue later the same day with your ABS-ticket. To be sure it always makes sense to ask the conductor or the infodesk before jumping on the train to Bruges.

You can’t do this for the highspeed part of the trip as the seats are reserved for a specific time on a specific date.

Posted by
4669 posts

Wil, you and the daughter are correct and I am wrong. I answered based on many similar answers I had seen on TripAdvisor. But it is specifically described (January, 2020) on the NMBS website:

The ticket you have purchased to travel between two stations is valid for the shortest route (the shortest distance covered by train).
You can interrupt your journey at any of the stations located along this route, with no additional charges.
Examples:
You would like to travel from Liege (A) to Brussels (C), but you have a meeting in Leuven (B)?
As Leuven is located along the shortest route in km between Liege and Brussels, you can buy one Liege – Brussels ticket. You can interrupt your journey at Leuven at no extra cost.

This page is:
https://www.belgiantrain.be/en/support/faq/faq-routes-schedules/faq-choose-your-route

Posted by
1451 posts

Tim, thank you for the quick response and the info of the Belgiantrain website!

Posted by
62 posts

Thank you, both Tim & Will, for such helpful, detailed information (with links!). I downloaded the SNCB national app so I could buy ticket on app instead of standing in line and buying the wrong tickets because the agent didn't understand my spoken English ;) (as what happened to me couple years ago and I ended up in wrong city! )