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Belgian trains achieve best punctuality since 2015
Belgian trains are getting more reliable - with punctuality above the 90% mark for only the second time in 10 years, new stats reveal.
In 2019, 90.4% of trains in Belgium ran on time, the best result since 2015, according to figures from rail network manager Infrabel.
There was, however, an 11% increase in the number of trains cancelled in 2019 compared with the previous year. Infrabel recorded 29,679 cancellations or part-cancellations - representing 2.2% of all train services.
"On time" is defined as a train reaching its destination no more than six minutes late. If it suffered a bigger delay en route but made up the lost time along the way, it is still on time.
Two explanations for the improved punctuality have been given. First, two additional tracks have been built between Brussels and Denderleeuw.
Second, train timetables have been adjusted to allow more time to cross Brussels along the saturated tunnels from North to Midi stations.
Infrabel and the SNCB are studying the possibility of automating all trains through central Brussels from 2026 to make the north-south rail link more reliable.
About 1,300 trains pass underneath the city centre every day. Computer software would ensure every train accelerated and braked as efficiently as possible - saving precious seconds compared to a human driver and thereby reducing the gap between each train.