There are three main elements to the 2017-2020 plan which was approved on May 30. €1.3bn will be spent on improving safety. This includes the national deployment of ETCS, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022, and replacing 236 signalboxes with 11 control centres by the end of 2020. In addition, work will continue to reduce the number of level crossings and upgrade long tunnels including the north-south cross-city tunnel in Brussels.

$2.5bn will be allocated to projects designed to improve reliability and punctuality. This includes network renewal, reducing the number of infrastructure logistics centres from 250 to 62 by the end of 2018, the acquisition of works and measuring trains, and continuing Infrabel’s digitalisation programme which was launched in January 2013.

The €500m set aside in the 2017-2020 plan for capacity expansion, which includes two extra tracks between Ghent and Bruges, will be supplemented by the additional €1.15bn to be allocated under the 2018-2031 plan.