NMBS let Eurostar train go to waste

25th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The train has been pining away for the past five years, letting almost 24 million euros go down the drain.

25 April 2008

BELGIUM - For more than five years, a Eurostar train owned by the Belgian railway company NMBS has been pining away in the NMBS’ Brussels locomotive station.

According to the Flemish daily De Standaard, the train was purchased to cater for the increased passenger numbers Eurostar anticipated to carry.

But London-bound passenger numbers dropped and the train has not been in use for the last 5 years.

All that time, the contract with the lease company continued.

“This means that EUR 23,750,000 have just gone down the drain,” right-wing liberal Peter Reekmans points out.

The train’s exterior has been stained with graffiti. The vandalised interior is used as a sleeping-place for tramps.

On top of that, the train has been stripped for spare parts of all sorts of kind.

A spokesman for the railway company admits the train has been out of circulation but says the abandoned train has turned out to be quite convenient.

“Because of its spares, we’ve been able to help out other carriages. As a result, these did not have to be taken out of circulation for long repairs and in fact have known few problems at all.

In 2010 the leasing agreement on the train ends and the carriages become NMBS property again.

Because the train is still “in perfect running order”, the NMBS intends to lease out the train to Eurostar UK.

According to the Belgian railway company there is nothing wrong with this as all Eurostar trains are to get a profound facelift shortly anyway.

[flandersenews.be / Expatica]

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