Belgian Rail Operator Cancels AnsaldoBreda Train Order

-Belgian railway operator NMBS/SNCB has cancelled an order for three trains from AnsaldoBreda and plans to seek damages from the Italian manufacturer after mechanical problems caused by snow and ice this winter led to delays, cancellations and the eventual suspension of the new high-speed service, called Fyra.

The decision by state-owned NMBS/SNCB, which runs the service between Brussels and Amsterdam with its Dutch counterpart, is a major setback for AnsaldoBreda as its parent, Finmeccanica SpA (FNC.MI), seeks a partner for the troubled division after failing to sell it.

AnsaldoBreda, whose engineers have been working to solve the problems on the V250 train, said in a statement this weekend that it was surprised by the decision, adding that it had yet to receive official confirmation.

It described the decision, announced by NMBS/SNCB Friday, as offensive, adding that it was considering legal action.

Under a contract worth a combined total of more than 300 million euros ($390 million), AnsaldoBreda, which is working on a number of overseas projects, including an elevated rail service in Honolulu, Hawaii, had made three trains for Belgium and 16 for the Netherlands, according to a spokesman for the manufacturer. One train consists of eight cars, including the engine.

The V250 is the latest train developed by AnsaldoBreda.

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Source : Wall Street Journal

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