250 Desiro trains called back for roof box explosions
In the roof boxes of national railway company NMBS/SNCB’s recent Desiro trains explosions take place, causing power failure and making the trains stop. “It’s by no means the only technical problem”, says Kees Smilde, spokesman of travellers association, TreinTramBus. He hopes NMBS/SNCB will find a solution by September 1st, when schools are starting again.
“We recently had three explosions in the roof boxes of a Desiro train”, explains NMBS spokesman, Dimitri Temmerman. “There wasn’t any danger for passengers, but the explosions cause power failures and then the train stops.”
The explosions seem to be the result of gas accumulation in the boxes, where technical equipment is installed. The boxes burst open due to the accumulated gas, so we will have to make ventilation openings in them.” 250 Desiro trains will return to the work place to have this fixed.
Notorious for shortcomings
This also means NMBS/SNCB will replace the trains by older and less comfortable ones. “We apologize for it to the passengers, but safety is our top priority.”
The relatively new Desiro trains – the first were introduced in 2012 – were notorious for their shortcomings from the beginning. Sometimes the doors didn’t function, there were problems with the toilets, the trains weren’t frost-resistant…The situation was that bad that NMBS/SNCB wanted to pull the plug from the contract, demanding Siemens Transport, the manufacturer of the trains, to mend the hundreds of defaults first.
Back to school
Travellers association, TreinTramBus, hopes that all problems are solved by September 1st, after school holidays, because the older trains have less capacity. It is not clear yet who is going to be saddled with the costs. The past few years Siemens already was fined more than 40 million euro due to technical shortcomings.