Nine unsecured trains continue to operate on the line linking Brussels and Anvers, the busiest line in the country. Last year the conductor of a train ignored a red light twice when running at 90 km/h. The Federal Public Service Mobility has initiated an investigation, De Morgen reported Thursday.
On November 1st, 2015, the conductor of a train ignored a red light twice near Anvers-Luchtbal. Only after receiving a call from the signal cabin did he himself activate the emergency brake. According to De Morgen, nine unsecured locomotives belonging to SNCB are still in service. “All of our national trains are equipped with the TBL1+ safety system. But this is not the case for international trains, for which this system is not obligatory,” said Infrabel Spokesperson Bart Crols, as quoted by a Flemish daily. “The incident at Anvers occurred with a Benelux train,” he stated.
Specifically, these locomotives, which are employed by the SNCB following the Fyra fiasco, only have a security system dating back to the 1930s, which is extremely outdated. The Minister of Mobility, François Bellot (MR) holds Jacqueline Galant responsible. “The former minister decided to authorize a derogation of the safety principles for Benelux trains. This decision was approved with utmost transparency by the government and was the object of a Royal Decree. It expires at the end of 2016,” added Mr. Bellot.