SNCB, the national railway company of Belgium, served a record 244 million passengers in 2018, breaking the previous record of 240 million passengers which had held since 1963.
The company is in good financial shape, having achieved an operating income of €94.7 million and an overall profit of €24 million last year. The healthy balance sheet means that the company is likely to invest heavily in new technologies and infrastructure in the near future.
Overall, train ticket purchases of ordinary tickets was up 6% compared to last year, while ‘Railpass 10 trip’ purchases increased by 11% and ‘Go Unlimited’ ticket sales grew by 9.5%. Purchases of the suburban ‘S’ train ticket also increased, by 5%.
Interestingly, despite the increase in the overall number of passengers using the trains, the average distance travelled by a given passenger slightly decreased (43.1km in 2018 against 43.3km in 2016), according to figures detailed in Le Soir.