A further €400m loan was signed at the SNCB headquarters in Brussels following an initial €200m tranche allocated in December 2016. The loan will cover part of SNCB’s €1.3bn order for 445 double-deck M7 coaches that SNCB placed with a Bombardier-Alstom consortium in 2015.

The order will allow SNCB to hit its target of adding 105,000 more seats to its fleet by 2023, and 190,000 by 2030.

SNCB has the option to increase its order with Bombardier-Alstom to 1362 coaches at a cost of €3.3bn. SNCB says the arrival of the M7s will enable it to increase capacity by 145,000 seats.