BRUSSELS Jan 23 A faulty high-speed train that
has become the subject of an ultimatum by Belgium's railway
operator will be fixed "in days", an executive at the Italian
manufacturer told Belgian daily De Tijd in an interview
published on Wednesday.
The new high-speed train connecting Brussels and Amsterdam,
dubbed the "Fyra", suffered cancellations and delays in the
first week it was launched.
Services were suspended indefinitely last week when freezing
temperatures caused parts to come off from the undercarriage of
the trains, made by AnsaldoBreda, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica
"Our first analysis is that the problems are simple to
solve," AnsaldoBreda's operations director Giuseppe Marino told
the paper. "In a few days the trains should be useable again."
Marino also spoke with Dutch financial daily Het Financieele
Dagblad and Dutch public broadcaster NOS.
Belgium's railway operator SNCB set AnsaldoBreda a
three-month deadline to resolve the problems.
SNCB said it would cancel an order for three V250 trains
worth 63 million euros ($84 million) unless the trainmaker could
fix the problems.
It said an advance payment of 35 million euros it had made
to the Italian group was covered by bank guarantees and could be
recovered in the event the contract was terminated.
Dutch railway operator NS, which has already taken delivery
of nine V250s, said on Saturday it would also accept no further
trains. It had ordered 16 in total.
The potential image setback for AnsaldoBreda comes at a time
when Finmeccanica is trying to sell the loss-making unit to cut
debt and focus on its core defence and aerospace activities.
AnsaldoBreda had attracted interest for a possible
acquisition from Hitachi and GE.