Record year for Belgian rail: 173m passengers

23rd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgian rail NMBS-SNCB transported a record 173 million passengers last year, 5 percent more than 2004 and 30 percent more than 10 years ago.

23 February 2006

BRUSSELS — Belgian rail NMBS-SNCB transported a record 173 million passengers last year, 5 percent more than 2004 and 30 percent more than 10 years ago.

The growth in passenger numbers was most spectacular in the categories of season ticket holders and special arrangements.

Those categories combined represented 56 percent of total passenger kilometres travelled and almost half of the Belgian rail operator's turnover.

Income from normal train tickets accounted for one-third of total turnover, news service VRT reported.

In total, 7,796 million passenger kilometres were travelled last year, an increase of 6.4 percent compared with 2004.

The number of international travellers also increased to give a turnover of EUR 217.5 million, up from EUR 204.9 million in 2004.

The Belgian rail operator's total turnover increased to almost EUR 450 million, a rise of 11.2 percent compared with the record year of 2004.

Passengers gave the NMBS-SNCB a rating of 7.43 out of 10 in 2005, compared with 7.5 in 2004.

The neatness and frequency of trains scored the lowest, but conductors and personnel in stations impressed passengers.

Public Enterprises State Secretary Bruno Tuybens told MPs on Wednesday having a debt-free NMBS-SNCB in 2006 is attainable.

"The management has performed important work in the past year. The way is now clear for a healthy operational management," he said.

Tuybens stressed that the NMBS-SNCB had never performed better.

"If everyone works together, we will have in several years an economically viable rail company. No one could have thought that several years ago," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

0 Comments To This Article