Belgian Railways (SNCB) has cancelled an order with AnsaldoBreda for high-speed V250 trains over what it has described as the “inadequate” quality of the vehicles.

Fyra high-speed services have been out of operation since January after an investigation found that an ice build up had caused components to fall off the undercarriage of a number of trains.

AnsaldoBreda was given three months to fix the problem or risk losing a contract for three more trainsets.

SNCB has now announced that it has cancelled the order and plans to recoup bank guarantees worth 37 million euro.

Train operator NS Hispeed and SNCB commissioned Mott MacDonald and Concept Risk to conduct separate studies into the issues surrounding the V250.

SNCB has said that both reported concerns about the design, suggesting problems with the braking system, battery system, premature rusting and a lack of protection for electrical cable underneath the train.

The research concluded that significant investment would be needed to fix the fleet and that it could take 17 to 24 months before the trains were back up and running.

AnsaldoBreda has responded to the announcement, describing it as a “baffling decision”.



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