Belgium’s SNCB wants a guarantee from the State that it will remain the sole operator for subsidised local transport by rail for the next 10 years, whereas the market is scheduled for liberalisation by 2023. This is a key element of a memorandum produced by the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB) ahead of elections on 26 May, and which Belga news agency was able to consult.
“SNCB is asking the State for confirmation, soonest, of its public service mission through a direct attribution for a period of 10 years on the entire Belgian network,” the utility stated in its memorandum. “That would mean that the company would be the only one to receive subsidies during this period for the domestic transport of passengers.”
It also wants its missions to be updated and the funding it would receive over the ten-year period to be laid out, along with a multiannual investment plan for the same period.
In exchange, the SNCB promises to evolve “into a modern digital, operationally and financially performing company at the service of all its customers,” according to the memo, addressed to all “stakeholders” of the railway utility.
These include the authorities, political parties and travellers’ organisations.