Belgian railway operator Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belges (SNCB) has secured an overall loan of EUR600 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernise its rolling stock.
The first tranche of the loan worth EUR200 million was sanctioned in December 2016 and the second tranche of EUR400 million has been sanctioned now.
The loan, which has a repayment period of 25 years, will be used to partially fund the acquisition of 445 double-decker M7 railcars being supplied by a Bombardier-Alstom joint venture under a EUR1.3-billion contract secured in 2015.
SNCB has announced plans to add 105,000 additional seats to its fleet by 2023 and a further 85,000 seats by 2030. The delivery of the M7 railcars will increase capacity by 145,000 seats.
(1 EUR [Euro] = 1.07 USD)