BELGIUM: Meeting on December 16, the board of infrastructure manager Infrabel approved a 2015 budget incorporating savings of €170m. Given the ‘very difficult’ economic climate, spending has been reduced across all categories with the exception of safety investment where €332∙4m is to be spent on programmes including the installation of TBL1+ and ETCS.
Infrabel says that €45m will be saved through internal economies including the deferral of buildings and structures maintenance, a reduction in the training budget and lower IT costs. With the aim of saving €30m without the need for compulsory redundancies, staff recruitment is to undergo a major freeze with only key posts in engineering disciplines to be filled.
While insisting that no line closures are planned for 2015, Infrabel has warned of delays to major investment projects as spending is targeted on safety programmes. Such projects are likely to include the upgrade of the Namur – Luxembourg route and four-tracking between Ottignies and Brussels for RER services, although Infrabel says it would be ‘premature’ to specify the extent of the delay.