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I need to get to Brussels Airport for a Schengen flight that leaves at 7pm on a Sunday.

I'm probably going to aim for one of these trains (timings taken from Bahn.de)

                Arr   Dep
Ghent                 15:13
BRU            16:35

or

De Panne              13:52
BRU            16:35

or

Ghent                 15:40
Brussels Midi  16:08  16:15
BRU            16:35

A few questions:

  • Are these timings realistic for the flight in question?
  • Are the trains likely to be on time?
  • Is the transfer at Brussels Midi reasonable (I can run if needs be!)
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    IMO the one changing at Brussels is too risky. Besides not stumbling as you run, it's dependent on the perfect running of two trains and contains no slack at all in the timing. With 7 minutes in Brussels and less than 2.5 hours from train to plane it's right up to the wire, especially as having to run is anticipated even if it goes correctly (you can avoid that part by leaving half an hour earlier). Are the trains likely to be on time? Sod's Law says: no, and I would leave much earlier, with a "spare train" available if the first plan goes wrong. The times quoted would be my fallback. Apr 28 at 7:41
  • All three seem to involve the same train (at least for the last part), Where are you actually starting? De Panne or Gent? Apr 28 at 9:28
  • I'm starting in Calais but depending on timings for my wife I'll either be dropped off in Ghent or De Panne. Getting directly from Calais to the airport is also possible but takes a lot longer.
    – Rich
    Apr 28 at 10:11

1 Answer 1

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For a Schengen flight from BRU I would aim to be there around 1 1/2 hours in advance. So any train that arrives before 17:00 is fine, as that even gives you some margine. Use the Belgian Railways' website to find times. See https://www.belgiantrain.be/en

Trains run frequently, so if you build in a bit or margin you should be all right. If you miss a connection, you take the next one, but if there is a direct train from your starting station I would take that. From Gent the best train is the direct train leaving at the hour, so you could take the 16:00 to be at the airport at 16:57. The xx:13 train from De Panne actually goes via a a detour to Brussels.

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