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Task force to coordinate repairs to storm-damaged railways

Credit: Belga

A specialised task force has been launched to coordinate repairs to railway lines damaged by the bad weather that has left many trains in the south of Belgium at a standstill, l’Union des Entrepreneurs de Travaux ferroviaires (UETF) announced on Saturday.

The task force was launched by the UETF, which specializes in work on the country’s railroads, together with Infrabel and Tuc Rail.

According to the UETF there have been “almost hundreds” of cases of damage on the tracks between Libramont-Betrix, Namur-Ottignie and Liège, at a time when “most of the railway works contractors are on vacation,” since the school vacation is synonymous with holidays in the construction sector.

“The UETF has mobilized its troops to quickly relaunch jobsites that have dire staff shortages so as to start the repair works under the coordination of Infrabel once the waters subside,” UETF President Dirk Rotthier said.

“The Union’s contractors will do everything possible to mobilise the workforce needed to restart the network during this summer season,” he added.

In Wallonia, railway traffic will be interrupted practically everywhere this weekend in the area below Charleroi, Ottignies and Liège.

The railway routes that are still functioning are Gembloux/Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Namur/Marloie, Beauraing/Bertrix, Rochefort/Bomal and Liège/Welkenraedt/Eupen.

Replacement buses are being provided wherever possible, and the SNCB is asking travellers to consult its Internet site, which is updated regularly.

Railway services in the affected areas will be restored gradually from Monday. The process will last until 30 August for the area hardest hit, located between Liège, Verviers, Pepinster and Spa.

The Brussels Times