Expatica news

More and more Belgians are taking the train

22 April 2004

BRUSSELS – The number of people taking the train in Belgium has risen steadily over the past six years, according to new figures released by state rail company SNCB on Thursday.

According to SNCB, the number of people using the Belgian rail network increased from 145 million a year in 1997 to an impressive 198 million in 2003.

The rail company says a mixture of new rail fare promotions and increasing road traffic congestion are behind the encouraging rise in passenger numbers. 

The increase has mainly been on domestic lines, with certain flagship international services – in particular the high speed ‘Thalys’ link between Brussels and Paris – actually showing a dip in passenger figures.

Sadly for SNCB, however, the increase in the number of train travellers has not yet translated into higher revenues for the rail operator.

In 2003 the company’s turnover for domestic traffic increased slightly, by 3.6 percent, but this was offset by a 4.5 percent drop in international revenues, which meant SNCB actually made a net loss of  EUR 333 million last year.

[Copyright Expatica News]

Subject: Belgian news