Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Belgian trains set a record in delays and cancellations

Most people around the world probably think the trains should be more on time. Today Belgians got some solid numbers to back up this claim.

Today's Metro reveals some shocking figures from a recent report by Infrabel, the company which manages Belgium's railway infrastructure. The fact is that trains in Belgium have never been more delayed than they are now.

(Translated from Dutch) 
In the past three months, almost 20% of all trains were delayed, a historical low point. Obsolete equipment and a network filled to capacity are the culprits.
The punctuality figures for 2010 that network administrator Infrabel announced yesterday, are downright bad. Almost 15% of all trains were delayed (...). Above all, in the last three months of last year the numbers were dramatic. One out of five trains were delayed. The longest delays recorded happened during peak hours. During the night rush, more than one out of three departures were delayed.
In total, 25 192 trains, or 1.9% of all departures, were cancelled.
 Obsolete trains and lack of spare parts are some of the problems. In addition, more than half of all trains have to pass through the strained railway network of Brussels. On this axis a train runs on each track every three minutes, which causes a delay at the slightest irregularity. Finally, the number of travellers has risen by 50% in the last decade.

Rattle, rattle.

The Infrabel report holds the NMBS, the Belgian national railway company, directly responsible for 45,8% of the delays and 50,7% of the cancellations. The NMBS has accepted the responsibility and are now implementing temporary solutions to improve things. Only time will tell if this is enough to pacify the disgruntled passengers.

If you have the chance, watch Basta on Één next Monday. It's Belgium's hottest, newest, sharpest journalistic comedy show, and next week's episode is about Belgium's beloved railways. If this doesn't get heads rolling down the platforms, nothing will.


  1. My trains were actually on time today! I really hope this marks the start of a better NMBS era ;)

    And yeah, they should definitely fix the Brussels bottleneck problem!!

    Well written and translated, baby :D <3

  2. Congratulations! Mine was ten minutes late :-/
    If a better era is coming, it should take the bus to get here!

    Thanks, sweetie :) <3

  3. I take two trains to and from work every day. On the way back, the first train is always delayed by 5 minutes or more (today it was 23 minutes) and this forces me to take another train half an hour later. Every day!!!