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July 2002

A not very banal accident occurred in Lede on July 23, 2002: the railcar of head of a train IC was uncoupled of the three other railcars composing the train, which continued their way and pressed the back of the first railcar. The shock was violent, but one counts fortunately only 17 wounded, among whom five had to spend the night to the hospital. An investigation is in hand to determine the reason for which the railcars separated. (25/07/02)

The new Management committee, chaired by Karel Vinck, decided to slow down the investments planned for 2002 and 2003: in 2002, SNCB will invest only 73 million euros instead of the 1,7 billion euros envisaged in the capital spending program 2001-2012. This amount was theoretically to come from own capital stocks of SNCB, but the Management committee judged that the company did not have financial means to carry out these investments. (20/07/02)

June 2002

Karel Vinck was indicated as managing director of SNCB by the Council of Ministers of 28 June 2002, putting fine at long and difficult procedure of nomination. Karel Vinck is described like very liberal, and was a president of the VEV and Umicore. Its nomination is accompanied by the designation of a group of experts charged to highlight the possible modifications to be made in the company. For more details, consult the press review.(30/06/02)

The guides of train will have soon the right to draw up reports with the travellers, in the event of rebellion, aggression, etc… This new provision, voted with the Chamber on June 21, aims at improving the security on the rail network. The statement will be then transmitted to the font which will ensure the follow-up. (27/06/02) 

After a new countable assessment, the shareholders finally approved the accounts of SNCB on June 21. 2001 shows a loss of 137 million euros, carrying the debt of the company to 3,9 billion euros. The Minister for Transport, Isabelle During, insisted on the increase worrying in debt (+ 42% compared to 2000), and charged that mainly to the bad results of subsidiary company ABX. (22/06/02)

The government decided to start again third once the procedure of designation of a managing director for SNCB, the six candidates selected by the office of consultance not being obviously satisfactory. One speaks with insistence about the nomination about Karel Vinck, current president d' Umicore and close to the Flemish liberal medium, at the end of this ultimate procedure of nomination. (14/06/02).

The shareholders of SNCB did not approve the accounts 2001 at the time of the general assembly of May 31, 2002. The shareholders blame the use by the preceding management team of a sum of 175 million euros to improve the result, whereas this sum was designed to finance the plan of reorganization "objective 2005". Without this sum, 2001 of SNCB would show a loss of 137 million instead of a benefit of 38 million. (01/06/02)

Mai 2002

The sovereigns of Denmark arrived by train to Belgium for 3 days an official visit. They were accomodated on May 28 in station of Brussels-Midday by prince Philippe and his wife, and went the days following to Namur and Bruges, on board their royal car. (30/05/02)

According to the statistics of SNCB, aggressions' physical with regard to the personnel increased by 9% in one year. Following a round table organized in June 2001, the Minister of Interior Department decided to found a police permanence in ten sensitive stations of the country (Brussels-Midday, Brussels-North, Bruges, Ghent, Leuwen, Antwerp-Exchange, Liege-Guillemins, Mons, Namur and Charleroi-South). In addition, of the special brigades of control (BSC) were created to reinforce the check operations in a radius of 30 km around Brussels. (22/05/02)

The parquet floor of Bubbles returned his first expert report on the collision to Pécrot on March 27, 2001, resulting in the death of eight people (see special page). The conclusions give a report on a whole of errors in the heads of the various speakers, not making it possible to emphasize a heavier responsibility for one or the other person. (14/05/02)

Sncb launched on May 07 a "courtesy campaign" in the whole of the country, whose objective is to render comprehensible with the travellers the role of the guides of trains. This countryside, which will extend over one month, will result in many posters in the stations and on train. Crescents will be also offered in ten stations of the country. (08/05/02)

Christian Heinzmann presented his resignation of the station of administrator-delegate of SNCB, one week after his nomination. Its decision is justified by great mistrust and the pressures met in the company has its regard. The government thus will have to launch a new call to the candidatures for the station of administrator-delegate of the company. (01/05/02)

April 2002

The Council of Ministers indicated Tuesday April 24 the new brains trust of SNCB. The new general administrator is Christian Heinzmann, administrator of the company of Luxair aviation, while the new chairman of the board of SNCB is Alain Deneef, resulting from Belgacom. Etienne Schouppe becomes as for him owner of subsidiary company ABX. (25/04/02)

The trade unions signed with the managing director the new collective agreement, envisaging the engagement of almost 1300 people and a rise in wages of about 1% (23/04/02)

Sncb enclosed the year 2001 with a benefit of 1 million euros. During the year 2001, the sales turnover progressed for the movement of travellers (+ 4,1 % for the interior service and + 1 % for the international service), but moved back of 6,2 % for the goods traffic. (14/04/02)

The first private train authorized to circulate on the Belgian rail network since the creation of SNCB arrived in station of Montzen Wednesday April 3 at 09h20. This convoy, chartered by the Dillen companies and the Young cargo liner of Boom, is indeed the first to circulate on the Belgian network independently of the Belgian operator. It is about the application of the first measurements related to the liberalization of the Belgian rail. For more details, consult the press review.(04/04/02)

March 2002

The Senate voted Thursday March 21, 2002, majority against opposition, the laws concerning the capital spending program and the reform of the structures of SNCB. These laws are extremely discussed by the trade-union organizations, which paralysed the goods traffic all the day of Thursday. The passenger traffic was also slightly disturbed. Other actions of protest are announced by the trade unions. (21/03/02)

A guide of train was attacked once again in the day of Monday March 18, 2002, on the Ath-Mons line. The man was violently struck by three young travellers refusing to pay their transport document. Following this aggression, the guides of train carried out a publicity campaign by informing the passengers, without controlling them. (19/03/02)

The conductors of the deposits of Turned, Mons, Louvière and Charleroi stopped work all the day of March 15, 2002, causing large disturbances on the Walloon dorsal. They protest against the lack of manpower and impossibility of taking the vacation to which they have right. This dispute was amplified by the advertisement made by SNCB freeze recruitments of conductors. The trade unions announced one very hot spring as regards the social aspects. (15/03/02)

A collision between two goods trains took place with Marbehan, Wednesday March 13 towards 4h20. One of the two trains did not respect a red light, causing the accident. One light casualty is counted, but the property damages are very significant and border the 4 million euros. The accident required the total interruption of the traffic on line 162 during all the day of Wednesday. More details on this accident are available a special page.(14/03/02)

The mediator of SNCB published his annual report. In 2001, the service of mediation treated 2964 complaints, that is to say a rise of 17,8 % compared to the year 2000. The most frequent complaints relate to punctuality, the lack of seats, and bad information. After intervention of the mediator, 87,5 % of the plaintiffs obtained total or partial satisfaction. But the mediator considers it regrettable that no compensation is envisaged in the contract of management in the event of delays. (13/03/02)

According to an investigation carried out at at the end of 2001 near 3000 customers of SNCB by independent office IPSOS, the general rate of satisfaction of the customers reaches 7,2 out of 10, that is to say the best result since 1999. The best dimension goes to the guides of train (7,8/10), while the point more criticized remains punctuality, with a dimension of 6,25 out of 10. One observes a clear rise for cleanliness and comfort, which is undoubtedly to allot to the progressive startup of the new hardware. (12/03/02)

The Consultative Committee of the Users of SNCB published his annual report this Friday March 08. Among the positive points, the committee raises creation of a new card for the short-hauls, or the fact that SNCB better and better listens to the remarks of her customers. With regard to the negative points, the committee denounces the removal of the transborder lines to the profit of relations TGV: the travellers eager to pass the border are often constrained to join a station TGV, at an exorbitant cost. (10/03/02)

The senate voted this Thursday March 07 total prohibition to smoke in all the trains of SNCB. This private bill emanating from the senator Francis Poty is not accomodated very favorably by SNCB, which fears that the customers smokers are not diverted a train or do not enfreignent simply the instruction. It should be noted that the hardware recently ordered has places smokers, in a proportion of 10 %. (07/03/02)

February 2002

The Council of Ministers of February 22 managed to agree on the fate of subsidiary company ABX of SNCB. This subsidiary company specialized in the road transport and whose financial results are clearly below the hopes by road the government between partisans and opponents with the sale divided. The agreement envisages the creation of a holding "ABX Logistics Group" with a clean board of directors, indicated by the state. Sncb will inject 50 million euros, then will be released from any financial commitments with ABX, which will join the Post office. For more details, consult the press review.(24/02/02)

Sncb designated the two equipment suppliers whom it will have to decide between for the deployment of Gsm-r, a mobile network based on the European railway standards: it is of Siemens and a consortium joining together Nortel, Alsthom and Telindus. This Gsm-r network will cover the 3.000 kilometers of railway of SNCB. The two candidates in string will have until April to give a quantified offer. For more details, consult the press review.(19/02/02)

Lines SNCB Turn-Mons, Turned-Mouscron, Turn-Lille and Turn-Brussels was paralysed on February 16, 2002, following the action of the conductors of train of the station of Turned. The latter intend to protest of the kind against the difficulties which they test to take their days off and their hours of recovery. Only a train coming from Charleroi could enter the station, the strike having lasted all the day, of 3h at midnight [according to Belga] (16/02/02)

Sncb proceeded to a check operation of the tickets in station of Antwerp-Exchange in the week from the 11 to February 15, 2002: the travellers were requested to present their transport document before getting into the train. The purpose of this operation is to decrease the number of travellers embarking in the trains without valid transport document, and should be renewed in other stations like Vilvorde or Malignant. (15/02/02)

The assessment of subsidiary company ABX could be in deficit of 146 million euros from here 2005, according to a scenario of Boston Consulting Group. This should still increase the debt of SNCB. It is in this context that the railwaymen of the workshop of Salzinnes paralysed the traffic in station of Namur during one hour on February 5, 2002. They denounce threats of reorganization being given the growing debt of SNCB. (05/02/02)

January 2002

A study carried out by Boston Consulting Group indicates that SNCB is far from being ready to face the first phase of the liberalization of the rail which will take place on March 15, 2003. On this date, concurrent companies will be able to operate themselves the carriage of goods on network SNCB. the study indicates the high costs and the lack of flexibility of the national company. Sncb decided to create a new pole goods, temporarily baptized New Cargo, in order to better prepare with the liberalization of the transport of freight. For more details, consult the press review.(24/01/02)

The guides of train of the deposit of Louvière stopped work all the day of Thursday January 17, 2002, following the aggression of a guide the day before, on the line Charleroi it Louvière. Many other deposits also stopped work by solidarity, strongly disturbing the rail traffic in Wallonia during a good part of the morning. The Minister for Transport will meet the representatives of the workers in order to discuss the constant rise of the number of aggression in the trains. Sncb also announced the installation of a flying squad to fight against this kind of criminality. (18/01/02)

A collision between a passenger train and a goods train occurred Sunday January 13 2002 worms 23h35 on line 40 with the height of Cheratte. The accident wounded only slightly about fifteen people, and is due to nonthe respect of indication by the conductor of the train of passengers. This one, which belonged to the railroads Dutch, does not have to respect a red light and struck the back of the goods train which preceded it. More details on this accident are available a special page.(16/01/02)

The traffic of the Thalys trains and TGV knew a beautiful progression in 2001, with a rise of travellers of respectively 5,5 % and 1,2 %. With the opening of the new line at high speed towards Marseilles, certain destinations of the South of France knew an increase in the number of passengers exceeding 10 %.
The results are worse for Eurostar, which records a fall of 2 % on the total number travellers. This fall is observed especially on the Paris-London connection, and is explained in particular by the strong competition of the other means of transport. (10/01/02)

Sncb announced her intention to engage only 500 personnnes into 2002 instead of the 2300 recruitment envisaged, maintaining the number of workers of the company with 42160 for the year 2002. The organization trade-union denounce this low number of engagements: according to them, the company must to the railwaymen 600 000 days off which they could not take because of the shortage of personnel, and the low number of engagements will only make it possible to compensate for the starting number to the retirement. According to the administrator-delegate, Etienne Schouppe, the number of late vacation would be definitely lower than the number advanced by the trade unions. (08/01/02)

Since January 1, 2002, all the tariffs of SNCB are in euros. The change occurred without incident, but the length of the queues to the counters was increased in a significant way, because of the difficulty in handling the new currency for the first time. In order to avoid lengthening more still the files with the counters, SNCB had invited the holders of cards train to renew this one in December 2001. (02/01/02)

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