LAST MONTH the board of Belgian National Railways approved a €1·48bn investment programme for 2005.

The bulk of the money, €814·6m, will come from the government, and €80m from the Brussels RER fund. Another €6·5m will be raised through the Diabolo PPP project.

Infrabel expects to spend €473·4m on high speed line projects and €285·1m on conventional lines, including the installation of GSM-R, four-tracking from Gent to Brugge and improvements to the Antwerpen port lines. Another €127·7m will go on stations.

SNCBTransport will spend €207·1m on rolling stock, including the 70 extra M6 double-deck coaches and two-system electric locomotives. In addition, 90 air-conditioned I10 Eurofima coaches are to be renovated for domestic services. A further €144·1m will go on workshops and IT.