I am planning a new visit to Belgium. It's not the first time that I was already on the train when I decided to go to a different destination.

Can you buy tickets on board on Belgium rail? Either the full ticket or just an extension? If yes, is it more expensive?

  • With a smartphone you could :) – Flimzy May 2 '14 at 16:57
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    @flimzy only if you also have printer with you. – user141 May 2 '14 at 20:18
  • @andra: Or if they accept e-tickets displayed on a mobile phone. I don't know if they do in Belgium, but I know they do in many parts of Europe. – Flimzy May 3 '14 at 0:37
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    @flimzy they don't – user141 May 3 '14 at 6:50
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    @PeterRaeves I just did yet I read: "Dit vervoersbwijs/deze toeslag is alleen geldig als het in goede kwaliteit en duidelijk leesbaar is afgedrukt op blanco, wit A4 papier..." I am afraid you still need a printer with you :( – user141 Jun 23 '14 at 20:37

In Belgium you can buy a ticket on board the train, but you must approach the conductor as soon as possible. If you boarded at a station with an open ticket office, or a functioning ticket vending machine you will pay a surcharge of 3 EUR.

  • If you'll only ask to buy a ticket when you're approached by the conductor, you'll probably have to pay more ? – Samuel DR Jun 2 '14 at 9:44
  • @Sdy Depends on your honesty. If you tell him, that you just got on the train at the previous station, it might be less. You might even end up not paying at all if he never passes by you. This is not good conduct, but happens often. – Peter Raeves Jun 16 '14 at 22:54
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    This answer should be updated; the operator increased the surcharge to 7 EUR. – Willem Van Onsem Jun 9 '15 at 1:06

Via smartphone

You could buy tickets through the NMBS/SNCB app. These count as a valid ticket. Only available for iOS (Iphone). Other operation systems have the app, and you could look up timetables, but it is not possible to buy tickets through these apps (yet). Only through the iOS app.

Via mobile website

You could buy tickets through the mobile website at m.sncb.be. You need to register on the website, to be able to buy tickets though. The ticket will be send through SMS, which would be valid for your journey. If you plan on buying tickets through your smartphone, I would suggest downloading the app instead.

On the train

You could buy tickets from the train conductor. He will charge normal prices, unless tickets were sold at the station you got on, which is usually the case. If this is the case, you will have to pay a € 3 surcharge.

More information can be found at the official website.

General note about buying late tickets

You are supposed to have a valid ticket when you board the train. Whether it be a pass, a card or a single ticket, you are supposed to have paid for your journey before you enter the vehicle. While the conductor will not kick you out, nor will you get arrested for this, it would be considered back conduct. Therefore if you are planning on buying a ticket through the conductor it would be preferred to approach the conductor, when you board the train. He will be the last person to enter the vehicle, so he will be easy to spot from the platform anyway.

Extending your ticket

I cannot find anything about ticket extension on their website, so this part will just be my opinion. Heck, if there are no real regulations, it might even depend on the conductor's mood what will happen. If they have such a function on their ticketing device, then you will probably just pay for the difference in price between your new and old ticket. If they don't have such a function, they might ask you to pay for a new ticket. Belgian train prices are cheap, so both would probably be quite okay. Regardless, it would probably be best to ask the conductor before you pass your destination. This way it wouldn't look like you wanted to freeload a few stations, hoping you wouldn't meet the conductor until you got off.

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