More than 1 in 10 trains arrived late in March

More than one in 10 trains in Belgium failed to arrive on time in March, causing commuters further frustration at a time when road traffic in the country's cities is becoming increasingly congested.

According to data published on Wednesday by railway network operator Infrabel, only 87.9 per cent of trains arrived at their final destination within six minutes of their scheduled arrival time last month. This was a slight increase compared to February (86.2 per cent) but a decline relative to March 2022 (89.9 per cent).

However, these figures do not take into account cancelled trains. Last month, 3,999 train journeys were totally or partially cancelled, corresponding to roughly 4 per cent of all scheduled trips. Taking into account cancelled journeys, train punctuality dropped to 85.1 per cent in March, compared to 82.4 per cent in February.

The published data also indicates that, over the whole of 2022, the punctuality of trains, not including those that were cancelled, decreased to 89.2 per cent — the first time since 2018 that annual train punctuality has fallen below 90 per cent.

This is likely due to a number of factors, including strikes, staff shortages and pedestrians trespassing on tracks. On Tuesday morning, multiple trains were delayed as a result of smoke caused by a faulty hand dryer in the toilets at Brussels Central station.

The federal government is aiming to achieve a minimum train punctuality of 90.6 per cent by 2027 and 91 per cent by 2032.



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