More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House on Thursday.
The amounts come out to €812 million set aside for SNCB and €692 million for Infrabel, according to Belga News Agency.
“These are European resources intended for the modernisation, digitalisation and reinforcement of the network,” Gilkinet said.
They’ll go towards things like improving the accessibility of stations and contributing towards efforts to double the volume of goods transported by train by 2030.
“This is compensation for SNCB for the Covid-19 crisis and the temporary loss of revenue,” said Gilkinet.
“It’s the financing of the work needed to restore the network after the floods. It’s new operational resources for our two railway companies and support for the night train.”
The money is the result of the financing of the Boost Plan, Gilkinet explained.
The minister was questioned by MP Catherine Fonck (cdH), who cited an academic paper published in La Libre that expressed concerns over the railways having enough funding amid planned cuts.
“These cuts exceed the announced refinancing,” Fonck said.
Gilkinet’s cabinet said that those calculations don’t take into account future investment possibilities.