An order for 445 new trains placed by Belgium’s national railway operator will be delivered with a delay of “at least” one year, local media reported Wednesday.
According to French-speaking daily Le Soir, SNCB had placed an order for 445 new M7 trains to Bombardier-Alstom Transport consortium in 2015, 58 of which were originally expected to be already in circulation.
Given the delay, the first four vehicles will not arrive before late 2019, with a further 48 now expected in the first half of 2020.
Regulatory alignment problems, particularly regarding the vehicles’ break and driving systems, the paper said, are reportedly to blame for the delay, which the supplier said could still grow, since manufacturing cannot start as long as they are not resolved.
The delay halts SNCB’s plan to upgrade their travel and onboard services, and it also means that older train models cannot be removed from circulation yet.
In 2017, the national railway operator had launched a new train plan aiming to expand their network, revamp their timetable and add new connections and improve frequencies in train stops and stations during peak hours.