Westerlo schoolkids come up with new way to tackle train graffiti
Share article:
Share article:

Westerlo schoolkids come up with new way to tackle train graffiti

A team from a school in Westerlo in Antwerp province has won a competition set to find new ways of removing graffiti from trains. The Belgian Railways Competition for Technicians (BERT) takes place every year, and this year’s edition was aimed at finding new and better ways of detecting and removing graffiti from trains. The problem costs the rail authority SNCB an estimated 4.2 million euros a year.

Last year some 138,000 square metres of graffiti was removed, an increase on previous years. “That doesn’t mean more graffiti is being created,” a spokesperson for the SNCB said. “But we are spending more on removing it, because clean trains contributes to customer-friendliness.”

The problem was this year set for teams from the third grade (fifth and sixth year) of the technical and professional school circuit, for the annual BERT competition, the final of which was held in Train World in Schaerbeek.

The Sint-Lambertus school in Westerlo took the prize for a system which involves a camera in a tunnel which takes photos of trains as they pass. Those are then compared with a database of photos of each train type, and if a difference is detected, the train is later diverted to a siding for cleaning.

“The proper maintenance of trains plays an essential role in customer satisfaction, which is a priority for the SNCB,” the spokesperson said. “That is why graffiti, which is still too often placed on trains, needs to be removed as soon as possible.”

The competition involves a prize of 5,000 euros for the winning school, and travel cheques worth 200 euros for each member of the winning team. The competition is organised by the SNCB and HR Rail, the legal employer of SNCB personnel.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Mayor wants to close two Brussels bars where alleged sexual assaults took place
Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, ...
‘Untenable’: Mayor says situation at Brussels North station is out of control
The situation at Brussels North Station is no longer tenable, Schaerbeek's mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) says. Drug dealing, homelessness, ...
Suicide second-leading cause of death among European youth
Suicide is the number two killer among young people living in Europe, a recent Unicef report on the state of their mental health found. The ...
‘Too little, too late’: Brussels mayors criticise CST implementation
After a two week delay, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in several situations in Brussels from today (Friday). Some mayors blame a ...
Sciensano expert warns of rising Covid-19 cases this winter
The return of colder weather and the relaxing of health measures are giving rise to new Covid-19 contaminations and hospitalisations around Belgium, ...
Hospital food is making you sick, Belgian study shows
Eating hospital meals results in a measurable decline in health, according to a report from the Flemish television network VTM, which paints a ...
Belgium in Brief: Supply Issues
There are few things more jarring than walking into a store and finding that the shelves are empty, be that partially or otherwise. One thing ...
Stolen Magritte painting on display for first time in ten years
Surrealist painter René Magritte's work "Olympia", which made headlines across the world when it was stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2009, will be ...
Brussels airport pilots ’15 minute’ PCR test
Brussels Airport has announced that it will soon begin a trial of an ultra-fast PCR test able to detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes, a far faster ...
Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz. The march was ...
Covid Safe Ticket mandatory in Brussels, but no fines yet
The Brussels-Capital Region will expand the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) from today (Friday), but it will take a few days before rule-breakers ...
Belgium hosts ‘farewell party’ for Merkel today
Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic "farewell" before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 ...