Von der Leyen pushes for single European train ticketing platform

July 19, 2024

Ursula von der Leyen, reappointed on Thursday by the European Parliament as president of the European Commission, wants to make train travel more accessible by creating a standard reservation system at the EU level. She said this in the political guidelines for the next legislature for 2024-2029, just before the vote for her reappointment. “We […]

Nearly €50 million in European funds for Belgian railroads

July 18, 2024

Belgium will receive 47.9 million euros in European funding to modernize its railroad infrastructure between Brussels and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and to equip rolling stock with the ETCS safety system. This was announced by Federal Minister of Mobility Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo). The funds will come from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) fund, a […]

Lawsuit threatens NMBS/SNCB over cheaper tickets via app

July 17, 2024

Consumer organization Testaankoop/Test Achat (TA) and equal opportunities center Unia threaten a lawsuit against Belgian public railroad company NMBS/SNCB for “digital discrimination.” This is because some tickets can be purchased cheaper via the app than at the ticket counter and vending machines. Other tickets, in turn, are only available via the app. The two organizations […]

Bicycle repair kiosks at some 30 NMBS/SNCB stations

July 16, 2024

In the coming weeks, bicycle repair kiosks will be installed at some 30 NMBS/SNCB train stations in Belgium. These stands will allow cyclists to carry out minor repairs to their bikes themselves. The first stands have been installed at Duffel (Antwerp) and Enghien (Hainaut) stations. The stands are part of the NMBS/SNCB plan to make […]

NMBS/SNCB concentrates international train ticket sales in 12 travel stores

July 15, 2024

The Belgian public railroad company NMBS/SNCB will stop the physical sale of tickets for international train travel in nine stations starting in October. These are Arlon, Eurpen, Ottignies, Brussels-Luxembourg, Antwerp-Berchem, Courtrai, Hasselt, Mechelen, and Ostend. NMBS/SNCB will concentrate on selling such international train tickets in 12 so-called ‘travel stores’. Specialized travel stores According to NMBS/SNCB […]

NMBS/SNCB train passenger slightly less satisfied with service

July 11, 2024

Belgian national railway company NMBS/SCNB’s train passengers were slightly less satisfied with the service in 2023 than the previous year, as shown in the company’s activity report. On average, passengers gave NMBS a score of 7,17 out of 10. In 2022, this was still 7,26 out of 10. This is a new way of calculating […]

City of Hamburg signs €2,8 billion metro contract with Alstom

July 11, 2024

French rail group Alstom has signed a €2,8 billion framework contract with German public transport company Hamburger Hochbahn. The contract includes the supply of 374 new metro trains for fully automated or semi-automated operation for Hamburg’s city metro. The DT6 metros will be produced at Alstom’s Salzgitter site in Germany starting in 2026. The first […]

Greenpeace: ‘Most European cities better served by air than by rail’

July 03, 2024

European cities are still much better connected by air than by rail, according to research by Greenpeace. From Brussels, for example, 41 of the 44 cities studied can be reached by direct flight and only 11 by rail. Greenpeace analyzed 990 routes between 45 major European cities. Only 12% of those routes are served by […]

First five electric VDL buses for De Lijn commissioned

July 02, 2024

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn has served the first of the new e-buses from supplier VDL from its depot in Destelbergen, East Flanders. These are the first five of 24 e-buses from VDL to reinforce the electric fleet in the Ghent region. In the coming weeks and months, the Destelbergen depot will receive […]

TGV slowing down on Brussels-France route in August

July 01, 2024

The high-speed train, or TGV, between Brussels and France, will not run at its normal speed between 12 and 29 August. During that period, the HST will run on the conventional track up to the French border, which means the train will travel longer. Railway network operator Infrabel announced the renovation works on Belgium’s oldest […]

Belgian rail invests up to €40 million to facelift smaller stations

June 28, 2024

Belgian public transport operator NMBS/SNCB invests between 30 and 40 million euros a year in a facelift for its smaller stations until 2032. This will include investments in accessibility and signaling and an expansion of bicycle and car parking facilities. NMBS/SNCB has 555 stations, including 20 large ones, 80 medium ones, and 455 smaller ones. […]

‘Three-country train’ Liège-Maastricht-Aachen runs from June 30

June 27, 2024

The Liège-Maastricht-Aachen ‘three-country train’ was inaugurated in Liège on Wednesday. The train connects Liège-Guillemins with Dutch Maastricht and German Aachen. The connection will be open to the public from June 30. The new direct train is the result of a collaboration between Belgian public railway company NMBS/SNCB, Dutch transport company Arriva, and Dutch public railway […]

De Lijn’s on-demand buses mostly only drive around with driver

June 21, 2024

Flemish public transport operator De Lijn’s flex transport, vans on demand, is not operating efficiently. That’s according to the business newspaper De Tijd, based on figures the newspaper requested from De Lijn. According to the newspaper, 56% of all kilometers traveled have only the driver on board. In other words, minibusses drive around without passengers […]

First public electric flights between Maastricht, Liège, and Aachen

June 19, 2024

Suppose you’re willing to pay €120 to €160 and not weigh nearly 100 kg. In that case, you can be one of the first to experience pure electric flying between the airports of Liege (Belgium), Maastricht (Netherlands), and Aachen (Germany) as a passenger in a Pipistrel Velis Electro, currently the only EASA-certified electric aircraft. The […]

Ostend-Bruges Airport to become Belgium’s second-largest solar park

June 18, 2024

The Ostend-Bruges airport will soon have the largest solar park in West Flanders and the second-largest park in Belgium. The 66,200 solar panels on the site, covering a total area of about 303,864 m2, the equivalent of 61 football fields, will produce almost 37,000 MWh of annual energy – much more than the airport can […]

First Mercedes eCitaro bus rolls of the line in France

June 18, 2024

The first French-built Mercedes eCitaro electric city bus rolled off the Ligny-en-Barrois production line in France after the model was initially only built in Mannheim, Germany. Daimler Truck has confirmed its dedication to the French plant with a €50 million investment between now and 2030. Until now, the Ligny-en-Barrois production facility in Lorraine, France, exclusively […]

420 ton bicycle-pedestrian tunnel pushed under railway in Langdorp

June 18, 2024

Infrabel has pushed a new bicycle and pedestrian tunnel under the Leuven-Aarschot-Hasselt railway line in Langdorp. Final work on the tunnel still needs to be finished, but cyclists and pedestrians will be able to use it by the end of this year. This weekend, the tunnel was moved into place using a unique sliding system, […]

SNCF promises 15% extra cheaper seats on TGV in France

June 17, 2024

The SNCF will increase the supply of seats on the TGV or HST by 15% in France and 10% internationally over the next ten years. Thanks to an increase in Ouigo’s low-cost trains, the expansion of that offer is possible. The SNCF in France is under strong pressure because different companies will launch regional high-speed […]

106 new electric buses for Brussels from summer

June 17, 2024

The first new electric buses ordered by Brussels public transport operator MIVB/STIB from German manufacturer Daimler Buses will be in service from July. This is reported by the newspapers La Capital and Le Soir. A total of 106 e-buses are involved. With this order, MIVB/STIB intends to replace its diesel models under the Euro-5 and […]

TEC back at pre-COVID passenger level: 151,6 million

June 14, 2024

The Walloon public transport company TEC transported more than 150 million passengers last year. As far as passenger numbers are concerned, they are back to the level before the COVID-19 health crisis. At the same time, TEC’s turnover increased by 22% compared to 2022, to 122 million euros. In doing so, it surpassed 2019 for […]

MR and Groen diagonally opposed about reversing Brussels Good Move plan

June 13, 2024

With the stalemate between the liberal MR party and Groen, the two big winners in the French and Dutch language groups in Brussels of the national elections, it looks like the Good Move mobility plan will become the topic of the municipal elections in October. MR president Georges-Louis Bouchez is determined that Good Move must […]

Van Hool’s take-over by VDL: only 250 Belgian jobs remain (update)

June 12, 2024

After news broke on Tuesday that the take-over of Belgian bus maker Van Hool in Koningshooikt (Lier) by its Dutch competitor VDL Group was finalized on Friday last week, VDL now specified its plans. That means only retaining spare part manufacturing, aftersales, intake, development, and finances, providing jobs for 250 people in Belgium. Before, 300 […]

TUDelft students show prototype hyperloop lane changing

June 10, 2024

Dutch Technical University TUDelft students claim the world’s first prototype of a hyperloop pod changing lanes at high speed. They built a 42-meter reduced-sized test track at the university campus for their Helios III pod. A key innovation is a functional lane switch, including a curved branch and a straight section for braking. Theoretically, a […]

Proxima will compete with SNCF high-speed trains in France

June 06, 2024

France’s national rail operator, SNCF, is going to get an extra competitor. Backed by an investment fund, the new company Proxima plans to acquire 12 high-speed trains by the decade’s end to link Paris with Angers, Rennes, Nantes, and Bordeaux. Rachel Picard, co-founder and chief executive of Proxima, is well-known in the railway world. Until […]

Eurostar centralizes operational centers in Brussels

May 29, 2024

High-speed train operator Eurostar has concentrated the management of its entire network and incident handling in one place: Brussels. The new operations center, which operates 24 hours a day, employs some 100 people managing around 100 trains and 50,000 passengers a day. Previously, there were two operational centers: one in Brussels for the former Thalys […]

Unsatisfied Lijn travellers, but Brussels MIVB/STIB is on a roll

May 29, 2024

Customer satisfaction at Flemish public transport operator De Lijn is declining, even though it carried 17% more passengers last year. The ageing bus fleet and staff shortages continue to hamper De Lijn. The Brussels public transport company MIVB/STIB also carried more passengers last year (+11%), but a more attractive offer and better punctuality ensure higher […]

BYD presents electric double-decker bus with Blade battery

May 24, 2024

BYD has presented a new electric double-decker bus, first for the British market. The BD11 features a next-generation chassis but is also powered by BYD’s blade battery. With this move, BYD is leveraging synergies between its automotive and bus businesses. BYD presented the BD11 in London, where it is also expected to find its highest […]

Number of fare dodgers at De Lijn increases by +70%

May 24, 2024

Despite more checks, the number of fare dodgers at Flemish public transport company De Lijn has increased by more than 70% in five years. Moreover, De Lijn is losing a lot of money because half do not pay their fines. Last year, for example, 4,1 million euros out of a total of 8,2 million euros […]

New Brussels tram line 10 to Military Hospital from September

May 23, 2024

The Brussels public transport company MIVB/STIB will start operating the new tram line 10 from Churchill to the Military Hospital on 23 September. The new line should mainly increase the accessibility of Neder-Over-Heembeek, a borough of the city of Brussels. Residents of that borough currently must do a lot to get to the center of […]

Infrabel deploys AI cameras at railway crossings for safety

May 20, 2024

Track runners and incidents at level crossings cause more than 12 hours of delays every day on the entire Belgian rail network. To improve safety at level crossings and train punctuality, rail network manager Infrabel is now using artificial intelligence (AI). By the end of this year, 70-level crossings will be equipped with AI cameras […]

Record profits seduce Eurostar to order up to 50 new trains

May 16, 2024

High-speed train operator Eurostar is to thoroughly renew and expand its fleet by ordering up to 50 new trains. It expects to put the first new trains into service in 2030. The HST operator also reached a turnover of 2 billion euros for the first time in 2023, a quarter more than in 2022. It […]

Renault concentrates on public transportation for autonomous driving

May 15, 2024

Renault is adjusting its strategy toward autonomous vehicles. Regarding individual vehicles, Renault Group concentrates on the L2 or L2+ level for the moment. However, when it comes to public transportation, Renault Group sees the relevance of offering real autonomous vehicles. CTO Gilles Le Borgne said Renault Group would not aim for so-called SAE Level 3 […]

Brussels applies for new tram line 15 building permit

May 15, 2024

In collaboration with Brussels public transport operator MIVB/STIB, Brussels Mobility has applied for planning permission to construct tram line 15, a new line to link Belgica metro station and the Thurn & Taxis neighborhood with the North Station and later with Central Station. The public space along the approximately 2 km route will also be […]

Dozens of De Lijn buses out of service due to Van Hool bankruptcy

May 15, 2024

Several dozens of buses are idle at De Lijn because the right spare parts are unavailable. These should normally come from Van Hool, but due to the bankruptcy, the bus manufacturer cannot supply them to the Flemish public transport company. De Lijn expects it will not stop at these dozens of buses and has set […]

NMBS/SNCB sells its office complexes at Brussels South

May 10, 2024

Belgian railway NMBS/SNCB is looking for a buyer for four office complexes at Brussels South, or Brussels-Midi station, representing 150,000 square meters, writes the business newspaper De Tijd. Usually, the consortium that may build the railway company’s new headquarters on the site of NMBS/SNCB’s buildings on Avenue Fonsny would take over the site. The sale […]

De Lijn goes for 100 e-buses from Spanish Irizar E-Mobility

May 07, 2024

Spanish manufacturer Irizar E-mobility has won the Flemish public transport company De Lijn’s tender for a framework agreement for up to 100 electric buses for ‘high-quality public transport’ (HOV). Modern articulated buses bet on passenger comfort and are intended for longer-distance journeys. A possible investment of 117 million euros would be involved. According to De […]

Belgium’s oldest train station in Tienen threatens to collapse

May 06, 2024

According to a stability study commissioned by the city council, the right-wing of the station building in Tienen is in danger of collapsing. The building has been languishing for several years, and the Belgian railways NMBS/SNCB wants to assign it on a long lease to a partner who must also be responsible for its renovation. […]

Channel tunnel celebrates its 30th anniversary

May 06, 2024

Thirty years ago, the railway tunnel under the Channel between mainland Europe and the United Kingdom was inaugurated. Construction started in December 1987. For seven years, more than 10,000 people worked on this site of the century, which was often perilous and required the invention of new technology, such as the iconic giant tunnel boring […]

Siemens to supply first high-speed rail trains for US

May 03, 2024

German technology conglomerate Siemens may build the railcars for the first high-speed rail line in the US between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Brightline, which is leading the project, has announced this. A fleet of ten railcars is involved. Siemens will also build a plant in the US to manufacture the ‘American Pioneer 220’ (AP […]

SNCF’s new high-speed train officially presented

April 30, 2024

French public railways SNCF has presented the new TGV train, the so-called ‘train of the future’ expected for the second half of 2025. The train has a rather understated aesthetic and is all white, with some red accents for the logo and doors, as opposed to the striking orange of the early models. The SNCF […]

Brussels and Vilvoorde reconnected by Waterbus

April 29, 2024

The Waterbus, which connects Brussels and Vilvoorde, will resume its service on the canal from 1 May. This has been announced by Brussels by Water. The liner will commute every weekday until October and at weekends during the summer holidays. The Waterbus sails between the Stone Quay in Vilvoorde and the Barges Quay in Brussels, […]

Labour opts for re-nationalizing UK’s railways

April 25, 2024

It has been known for a while that the UK government wants more control over rail transport, but if it depends on the opposition Labour Party, that will effectively come about when it returns to power. So write British media such as The Guardian and the BBC. If Labour is again in government, it wants […]

15 cases of aggression per day against staff off Belgian public transport companies

April 17, 2024

Last year, there were an average of 15 cases of aggression per day against staff of Belgian public transport companies, a 1,5% increase compared to 2022. To stop such aggression, De Lijn, MIVB/STIB, NMBS/SNCB, and TEC have launched a joint campaign. They are also calling for further support from the police and judiciary to tackle […]

Infrabel invests €80 million in new sensors for safer, more punctual trains

April 16, 2024

Belgian rail network operator Infrabel and the French multinational rolling stock manufacturer Alstom will install up to 10,000 new sensors along the Belgian rail network over the next decade. To this end, the two companies have signed an 80 million euro contract. The sensors or train detection devices should, among other things, help improve train […]

More and more Belgians cycle to work

April 16, 2024

According to a BeMob survey by FPS Mobility, 32% of Belgian workers used a bicycle to commute to work last year, either for all or part of the journey. This is an increase compared to 2019, when 29% of Belgian workers (partly) cycled to work. However, there are big differences between regions as, on average, […]

Walloon TEC gets its first electrified depot

April 15, 2024

The Walloon government has approved the Mobi’Park project for public transport company TEC. The project involves developing a new bus depot in Tilleur, in the province of Liège. Philippe Henry (Ecolo), Walloon Minister of Mobility, says this will be the first electrified depot in Wallonia. A budget of 105 million euros has been allocated for […]

Bike more popular than car in inner Paris

April 12, 2024

In Paris, the bicycle has overtaken the car as a means of transport and is now behind walking and public transport. According to a survey by the Paris Region Institute (IPR), conducted at the request of some 15 public and private institutions, Parisians use bicycles more, chosen for 11,2% of intramural trips, than cars, with […]

Record number of traffic fines for De Lijn, accounting for over €173 000

April 10, 2024

The business newspaper De Tijd reports that drivers of the Flemish public transport company De Lijn received a record number and amount of traffic fines last year. Altogether, 2,531 traffic violations were recorded, accounting for a fine amount of over 173,000 euros. Compared with 2022, the previous record year, the number of offenses recorded is […]

NMBS/SNCB: Trains more punctual, and better refund for 100 000 commuters

April 09, 2024

For the first time since August, more than nine out of ten NMBS/SNCB trains ran on time in March, i.e., with less than 6 minutes delay upon arrival in Brussels or at the ultimate destination. According to the NMBS/SNCB, these are “the best punctuality figures since the full resumption of rail traffic after the COVID-19 […]

Wallonia not satisfied with NMBS/SNCB’s holiday regime

April 08, 2024

There has been outrage in Wallonia, and particularly in the Liège region, over the holiday regime of Belgian public train operator NMBS/SNCB. Due to the switch to a holiday regime across the country, because it is Easter holiday in Flanders, there are fewer trains in Wallonia, especially during rush hours and in the busy region […]

‘Families prefer car over train and bus as most attractive option’

April 03, 2024

The car is still the preferred mode of transport for families in Flanders, and the train remains an uninviting option. This is according to the latest family poll of the Gezinsbond, an independent family organization that surveyed 1,072 families. Those same families also want safer cycle routes to school and find De Lijn’s new bus […]

Belgian rail performing better but aggression toward staff remains high

April 02, 2024

Belgian public transport company NMBS/SNCB posted an operational result (EBITDA) of 142.2 euros last year. That is a lot more than in 2022 and more than forecasted in the business plan. At the same time, the railway company’s staff continues to struggle with aggression: last year, rail staff were victims of aggression 2,298 times or […]

Brussels North again Belgium’s busiest railway station

March 27, 2024

With more than 60,000 boarding passengers, Brussels-North railway station was again the busiest station in Belgium on weekdays in 2023, a title it had to leave to Brussels-Midi/South a year before. Brussels-Central, Brussels-Midi, and Ghent-Sint-Pieters followed it. The first Walloon station is Ottignies, followed by Namur. Incidentally, in Wallonia, ticket machines of the public railway […]

It’s final: Van Hool heads for bankruptcy and quick relaunch

March 26, 2024

On Tuesday morning, 2,400 Van Hool employees wanted to start working again in Koningshooikt (Lier) to keep the Belgian bus builder factory going. Still, management sent them home for the next two weeks, awaiting the bankruptcy verdict. They are left with a resigned mood and uncertainty after hearing on Monday that going belly-up is unavoidable, […]

De Lijn looking for 800 drivers and 100 technicians

March 25, 2024

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn wants to recruit 800 drivers and 100 technicians this year. To this end, it will organize 14 job days, four for drivers and ten for technicians. “During the job days, everyone can get a taste of a job at De Lijn, learn about the terms of employment and […]

Volvo launches electric intercity bus on modular BZR platform

March 22, 2024

Volvo Buses, the sister brand of Volvo Trucks, launched the new Volvo 8900 Electric intercity bus, the successor to the 8900, in 2010. This electric-only bus is built on the brand-new modular BZR platform, allowing more shared parts to be used, which cuts costs and increases spare parts availability. Volvo Buses’ new BZR Electric platform […]

Dumarey to face MAN in struggle for Van Hool take-over?

March 18, 2024

The clock is ticking for Belgian bus maker Van Hool, which will go bankrupt if no private investor is found before the end of March. Belgian entrepreneur Guido Dumarey confirmed in an interview with Radio 1 that he’s convinced he can ‘rebuild’ Van Hool to a profitable, streamlined production company with 1,800 of the current […]

French train builder Alstom starts its own rail service in UK

March 15, 2024

French rail group Alstom will operate its own train service in the UK from May 2025 between Wales and London. An application has been submitted to the UK rail regulator Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to operate five daily trains in each direction. “We have been part of the UK rail fabric for two […]

Belgian railways spent more than €600 million on consultancy in two years

March 12, 2024

Belgian public railway company NMBS/SNCB and infrastructure manager Infrabel spent 612 million euros on consultancy between 2022 and 2022. Based on internal documents from both companies, research media Apache and Médor have exposed this. Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) had previously said the cost for that period was 44,6 million euros, but the actual amount […]