Since 11 January 2016, the first modernised four-car AM75-79 EMU (electric multiple unit) has been operating on the route between Turnhout-Brussels-Binche which means a significant improvement in comfort for passengers travelling from Campine.
The AM75-79 EMU has undergone extensive refurbishment. This is part of a 158 million euro project to upgrade 44 four-car AM75-79 EMUs of the SNCB passenger fleet over the next few years with the aim of improving punctuality of rail traffic.
The first four-car AM75-79 EMU was approved in December 2015 and introduced on 11 January 2016 on the route between Turnhout, Brussels and Binche. The other EMUs will be upgraded and put into operation between 2016 and 2020.
The four-car AM75-79 EMU underwent refurbishment at SNCB’s main workshop in Mechelen. The trains are being upgraded with new doors and windows, a new interior, accessible toilets, a better ventilation system, facilities for persons with reduced mobility, modern passenger information systems and power sockets in the first class carriages. The refurbishment is expected to prolong the train’s life by 15 to 20 years.
This refurbishment programme was urgently needed as the fleet was built by BN, Belgium between 1975 and 1979 and recognised by the bordeaux-red livery and interior dating from the 1970s. Following refurbishment, the trains have been painted in lighter shades of grey and white with a modern interior.