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Railway men blame manufacturer for Fyra debacle

Tuesday 29 January 2013

The head of Belgian Railways (NMBS) told Monday's hearing into the high-speed train debacle that his company twice refused the Fyra trains built by Italian company AnsaldoBreda.

MPs from both Belgium and the Netherlands had called for the meeting, following the decision to stop the Fyra high-speed service between Amsterdam and Brussels, launched on December 9, until improvements are made.

Marc Descheermaecker told the hearing at the Benelux parliament building in Brussels the NMBS refused the trains because of a conviction something was not right with them.


'There was a difference in attitude with the Dutch,' Descheermaecker said. Dutch Railways (NS) had already agreed to the purchase of the AnsaldoBreda trains.

The NMBS boss also said he had the impression the Belgian company was not taken seriously by the Italian train manufacturers, a situation that only improved after the NMBS took legal proceedings.

His comments put additional pressure on NS director Bert Meerstadt who told the hearing he shared the 'indignation and incomprehension' of the travelling public.


Asked after the hearing if he would now resign, Meerstadt said he would not run from his responsibilities and that he is the right man to put right the problems afflicting the high-speed line between Amsterdam and Brussels.

Both men used the hearing to put the blame firmly on AnsaldoBreda for the problems which led to the Fyra breaking down regularly after its introduction on December 9 2012 and eventually being taken out of service.

It is not yet clear whether ordinary intercity services between the two cities will be resumed until the Fyra situation has been resolved.


© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Obviously, NS and ProRail had nothing to do with the Fyra mess. It was all the foreign manufacturer. Right.

By phantom | 29 January 2013 1:41 PM

As always, you get what you pay for.
The AnsaldoBreda trains were obvioulsy cheap enough to enice the BE and NL buyers.
But I wonder if the public price also included a not-so-public financial "gift" for those who approved the purchase.....

By Federica | 29 January 2013 3:18 PM

@phantom: they might be well indeed right. Thalys trains have been using the HSL Zuid since 2009 with barely any problems at all. You never read that Thalys trains (which use same tracks as Fyra trains) are massively delayed for days, or cancelled often etc.

By A.L. | 29 January 2013 3:48 PM

Operation of fyra is the responsibility of the NS and ProRail. The Italian company did not put a gun to head of them to use their train sets. It is sad to see even a moderate speed line could not be operated between Netherlands and Belgium and things are going only to worse.

By Utku Tekinel | 29 January 2013 5:34 PM

Bert Meerstadt, despite what he wants you to believe, is an advertising agency executive parading as a passenger rail executive. None of this type of executive (or politician/minister) are accountable for their actions/inactions which is why they specialize in blaming others. Meertstadt will never resign because he thinks he is doing a good job and that there is nothing wrong with passenger rail in NL.

By Chek-IN/Chek-OUT | 29 January 2013 7:13 PM

@Utku Tekinel, AnsaldoBreda accepted the order. Why shouldn't they be held responsible. They were happy to accept the money, now they should deliver a working train.

By pepe | 1 February 2013 10:10 PM

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