The dual-voltage (3kV dc and 25kV ac) trains will be delivered between 2017 and 2025 and the deal could be worth Euros 3bn if all options are exercised. The sets will be equipped with ETCS, which is due to be rolled out across the entire SNCB fleet by 2023 as part of Belgium's national ERTMS programme.

The new trains are a key element of SNCB's 2013-2025 investment programme, which seeks to increase fleet capacity to cope with growing demand.

SNCB already operates a fleet of 630 double-deck vehicles, comprising type M5 and M6 locomotive-hauled coaches. According to the tender document the new trains will need to be compatible with these fleets.

The tender notice can be viewed here (French language PDF document).