Siemens wins €1.3 billion Belgian train deal

Belgium's public railway company SNCB announced on Friday it will order 305 electric passenger trains from Germany's Siemens worth €1.3 billion ($2.05 billion).

The SNCB board gave the green light to its biggest-ever purchase, a key component in the planned electric railway system for the Brussels region, the company said in a statement. The deal is expected to be signed with Siemens within 10 days.

The trains, which can run as single “rail cars” or with several passenger carriages, should be delivered between 2011 and 2016 when the RER system, similar to the RER system that serves Paris and its suburbs, is due to be fully operational.

About a third of the electric Desiro trains, with a top speed of 160 kilometres per hour, will be used on the Brussels RER with the rest serving the national rail network, the SNCB spokesman said.