For International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia, and Intersexphobia (IDAHOBIT) and for Brussels Pride, NMBS / SNCB added rainbow colours to one of its Siemens Desiro Main Line EMUs. The #trainbow refers to Trainbow Belgium, the LGBTQIA+ network at the Belgian Railways, i.e. NMBS / SNCB, Infrabel and HR Rail.
The rainbow features in the sidewalls of AM08 8586. The rainbow coloured train was presented on IDAHOBIT or IDAHOT at Antwerp-Central Railway Station.
The train will run on various lines in Belgium in the coming months, obviously including to the Brussels Pride coming Saturday. The pride events are based in the neighbourhood around Brussels-Central Railway Station.
With the rainbow train, NMBS / SNCB wants to symbolically emphasize the importance of inclusion and diversity and express its support in the fight against homophobic and transphobic discrimination.
In collaboration with Trainbow Belgium, NMBS / SNCB will illuminate the stations of Brussels-Central and Tournai in the rainbow colors until 22 May and rainbow flags will be hoisted in various stations, such as Antwerp-Central, Bruges, Brussels-Central, Brussels-North, Brussels-Midi/South, Denderleeuw, Ghent-Saint-Peter’s, Kortrijk and Ostend.
As one of the largest employers in Belgium and with hundreds of thousands of travelers per day, NMBS / SNCB wants to reflect the diversity in our society as well as possible.
Thanks to its approach to diversity issues, NMBS / SNCB has been able to develop concrete projects for more inclusion in recruitment, HR policy and in its communication. In 2021, NMBS /SNCB received a Federal Diversity & Inclusion Award for this. In 2022, she was awarded a diversity label by Actiris, the employment agency of the Brussels-Capital Region.
For example, NMBS / SNCB has developed tools for gender transition at work, launched recruitment campaigns to promote diversity and made adjustments in the workplace for people with disabilities. These are just some of the projects that cultivate diversity within the company.
Trainbow Belgium colours the railways
In order to promote the development of everyone’s professional skills without discrimination and to ensure a working climate conducive to inclusion, the passengers’ railway operator has been working for several years on the issue of inclusion and discrimination closely with Trainbow Belgium.
Germany and England
Belgium is not the first country to don a train in rainbow colours. Deutsche Bahn (DB) in Germany has an ICE train set where the characteristic red stripe is turned into a rainbow stripe.
In England, Avanti West Coast also has a pride train. It’s one big Progress Flag on wheels. Other British operators with rainbow trains include Great Western Railways (GWR), London North Eastern Railway (LNER), Thameslink, Southern, Scotrail, Southeastern Railway and South Western Railway (SWR).
The Belgian #trainbow is something in between.
SNCF in France has or had a rainbow train as well. We found a picture of a Chicago Transport Administration (CTA) pride train. Are there others? Tell us in the comments.
After a first attempt in 2015 and without support of the administrations, Trainbow Belgium chairman Ramses Noffels succeeded to (kick)start the group in 2016. The name was inspired by Trainbow in the Netherlands. They are okay with the shared use of the name and both groups have cordial relations.
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