Trains will be the backbone of tomorrow’s mobility

Exclusively for Global Railway Review, Georges Gilkinet, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility, explains that although Belgium may be a small country, it has great ambitions; especially when it comes to the transformation of the country’s rail sector.

Georges Gilkinet

We have come a long way since our current government was formed on 1 October 2020; we have provided Belgian rail with a medium‑and long-term development perspective and financing. And, even if the railway journey time is long, the dynamics in the trains, in the stations and in the workshops have already changed. I am doubly delighted: as a train lover and as a politician.

As in any good rail yard, we have proceeded step by step. We first designed the ‘Vision Rail 2040’, which sets a course for the development of the train in Belgium. Twenty years from now, thanks to steady progress, we shall have more passenger trains, both earlier in the morning and later in the evening. There will be two trains per hour (at a fixed time) at all stations and four in the vicinity of major towns. Transfers will be much better, including with regional public transport. Punctuality will be improved too, and half of the train fleet will be renewed over the next 10 years.