The initial €1.3bn order is worth €787m to Bombardier and €471m to Alstom. The total order could be worth up to €3.3bn if SNCB exercises all options in the contract. Bombardier's share would be worth €2.1bn, while Alstom's share would have a total value of €1.2bn.

The M7s will be based on the fleet of 492 M6 coaches supplied to SNCB by the same Alstom-Bombardier consortium, but unlike their predecessors will be designed to operate as EMUs or loco-hauled trains.

Bombardier's Bruges plant will assemble 65 unpowered driving cars and 290 intermediate trailers, while Alstom will build 90 powered driving cars at its Valenciennes facility in France, with signalling and electrical equipment coming from the company's Charleroi site in Belgium. All driving vehicles will be fitted with Alstom ETCS Level 2 equipment.

First and second-class interior designs have been developed in consultation with over 200 representatives of different user groups.

The first batch will be delivered between September 2018 and 2021 and SNCB says the arrival of the M7s will enable it to increase capacity by 145,000 seats.

M7 int1

M7 int2

M7 int3