The first high-speed train was operated in Belgium 15 years ago. Nowadays a number of high-speed train services – Eurostar, Thalys, TGV, ICE and from 2010 Fyra – connect Brussels to major cities in neighbouring countries. Thanks to the conclusion of strategic alliances with other high-speed rail operators over the last 10 years, SNCB is now located at the heart of the European high-speed rail system and Belgian cities benefit from excellent connections with Paris, London, Cologne, Frankfurt and the South of France.
From 2010 the new “Fyra” high speed trains – replacing the conventional “Benelux” cross-border train sets – will run on the new “L 4” high-speed line that was officially inaugurated by Infrabel and SNCB on 8th December. This new high-speed service jointly operated by SNCB and Dutch railways NS Hispeed will run from Brussels to Amsterdam 16 times a day with a travel time of 1 hour 46 minutes. Two million passengers currently use the “Benelux” trains every year. The Dutch-Belgian “Fyra” high-speed trains are expected to carry twice as many passengers.