As a rail infrastructure manager Infrabel is one of the biggest players in the Belgian mobility landscape. Through our projects we also make a direct contribution to providing a more sustainable transport service for current and future generations. We completed a large number of strategic projects successfully in the previous decade, thereby strengthening our central position within European mobility. Nevertheless, Infrabel will continue to face considerable challenges in the next few years.
In recent years our country has been experiencing a difficult economic and financial situation which has had an inevitable effect on public funds. At the same time our stakeholders expect an appropriate response to the increased mobility demand. This is a huge challenge which we approach with a sense of responsibility and confidence.
Cost efficiency and rationalisation of company processes are embedded in our strategic plan Focus more than ever before. This puts us in a position to advance all our industrial processes regardless of the budgetary restrictions required. Balancing the books has become a common theme throughout our company culture more than ever before, in line with the motto 'less is more'.
Safety was also right at the top of the list of priorities in 2014. We are taking further important steps in the ETCS Master Plan which we launched with SNCB in 2010 and which is running exactly as planned. We also implemented the final stage of equipping the rail infrastructure with the automatic TBL1+ stopping system. In doing so we don't just respect the commitments which we made with regard to the Special Rail Safety Committee, we are also right at the top in Europe.
In addition the development and launching of the new transport plan proved to be an important balancing act for our employees. We supported SNCB for over two years in the development of a train service adapted to current passenger expectations. That plan will allow us and our customers to make further improvements to the punctuality results and the quality of service.
Finally 2014 was also dominated by the Liefkenshoek rail link, a new, strategic rail link between the left and right banks in the Port of Antwerp. This new freight link, the logistical access port for Europe, will support the further growth of the Port of Antwerp and the Belgian economy.
We invite you to find out more about our achievements and projects for the railway network of tomorrow in this new edition of our Annual Report.
We hope you will enjoy reading it!
Luc Lallemand CEO
Christine Vanderveeren Chair of the Board