If you don't arrive at Bruxelles-Midi (French spelling) /Brussel Zuid (Dutch spelling) by Eurostar trains, the station can be particularly bewildering for first time users, so we have produced this guide to what to look out for when arriving on the other trains.
Though for Eurostar passengers, Bruxelles-Midi is a terminus station, meaning that the exits from the platform (track/spoor/voie), that the train will have arrived at, are logically towards the front of the train.
Hence our dedicated guide to arriving by Eurostar in Bruxelles is available HERE.
However, most of the other trains which use Bruxelles-Midi are passing through the station, so if you arrive on other trains, particularly the non-high speed trains, Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid can resemble a large commuter station.
There are usually both multiple exits leading down from the platforms (tracks/voies/sporen), the trains arrive at an upper level, AND multiple exits from the station.
Perfect if you're a commuter and can appreciate the short cuts, but bewildering for first time users.
As you'll discover from the general guide to using Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid.
The non-Eurostar international high speed trains arrive in Bruxelles-Midi/Brussels South station at platforms (tracks/voies/sporen) 3 - 6.
The main exits from these platforms is by escalator down to the main passage way under the station, which is named 'Le Couloir Principal/Hoofdgang’ and is pictured below.
If you use the escalators to descend from these platforms, then when you step into this main passage way, the access point to the metro station and underground tram stop will be ahead of you.
There will also be a lift on the platforms (track/voie/spoor), but it is not adjacent to the escalator - so you may have to head in the opposite direction to the escalator, or walk passed the escalator to access it.
If you will be connecting to the trams and metro then once you are in the main passage way at the station, look out for the easy to miss capital letter 'M' on this sign pictured below.
It is pointing the way to the somewhat anonymous entrance to the Metro station.
OR if you will be changing trains at Bruxelles-Midi / Brussel Zuid
Once you have descended from platform (track/voie/spoor) and entered the main 'Le Couloir Principal/Hoofdgang’ passage way, all the other platforms (voies/sporen) at the station can be accessed from it; so also use these main escalators/lifts if you are changing trains.
If you have used the main escalators, then when you enter this main passage way, Eurostar departures, The Channel Terminal, will be to the left.
While the access to all the non high-speed train departures will be to the right.
All of the non-high speed trains which use the station, including the InterCity trains from The Netherlands, Luxembourg and other cities in Belgium, arrive at platforms (voies/sporen) 7- 22.
If you are a first time user of Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel Zuid, what won’t be obvious is that there are 3 routes that lead down from these platforms (tracks/voies/sporen); the part of the station used by the trains is above street level.
So when you step off the train, the first exit you see on the platform (track/spoor/voie) may NOT be the most convenient for your needs - so avoid following the crowds.
Take a moment to work out where you need to go, using the signs by each exit as a guide.
There will be escalators down to the main passage way under the station, Le Couloir Principal/Hoofdgang, so look for its name on the signs pictured below, which you will find
on the platform (track/spoor/voie).
These exits down to 'Le Couloir Principal/Hoofdgang' will be located by the front of trains that have arrived from the south and west - and by the rear of the trains, that will have travelled from the north and east through central Bruxelles/Brussels.You may have to walk passed the other exits on the platform (track/spoor/voie) to access this specific exit, but if you are not familiar with using Midi station, this exit is the least confusing.
This main Le Couloir Principal/Hoofdgang passage way leads to:
There are also lifts/elevators (located at the end of the platforms towards the city centre) AND steps down to this central passage way - but these are not adjacent to the escalators.
You may have to walk passed the escalators to access the lifts.
At the opposite end of the platforms to the access to the main 'Couloir Principal/ Hoofdgang' passage way described above, there are also steps and a lift leading down to the Couloir Sud/Zuidgang’ passage way.
As seen on these signs pictured below.
This passage way, which can be accessed by stairs and a lift/elevator, can be a useful short cut if you WON'T be connecting into any of the high speed trains, as it links the platforms (voies/sporen) 7-22 in this part of the station.
Despite the signs DON'T use this passage way if you are connecting to the Thalys trains.
Now that the security checks are in place, the easiest access to the Thalys trains is to use the 'Hoofdgang' exit at the opposite end of the platform (track/spoor/voie).
In the middle of the voies/platforms is an exit named the 'Couloir Secondaire', as seen on the signs pictured below.
Because this sign is located in the middle of the platform (track/spoor/voie), it's likely to be the first exit that you will see.
However, ignore the signs and DON'T use this exit if you will be connecting to a Eurostar, Thalys, TGV or ICE train.
Now that the security checks are in place for access to the ICE, TGV and Thalys trains, the least confusing route to these trains (and the Eurostar) is to use the 'Hoofdgang' exit.
It is still a useful short cut to the other platforms (voies/sporen) 7-22 in this non-high speed part of the station.
Though there is no lift or escalator access to this passage way, but if you have luggage etc you can also access platforms/tracks/voie/sporen 7-22 by using the other two exits described above.
Using the departure posters:
If you can’t see the train you will be connecting into on the electronic departure indicators, then check the departure posters.
You will find these departure posters in all three of the passage ways mentioned above.
These list all departures in sequential order, but there are separate sheets (with a blue header) for Monday-Fridays and (with a orange header) for weekends.
So check that you’re not making an easy mistake of looking at the wrong sheet.
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