Our mission statement

"The SNCB is the Belgian company that provides and markets railway transport services for passengers and goods. It offers customers a reliable, quality service that is in tune with the market. It plays an essential part in the development of sustainable mobility.”

To put it briefly, our mission is quite simple:  to offer and develop sustainable mobility.

This implies many things: offering the largest possible number of people the opportunity to travel by train and transporting goods, both in Belgium and abroad. This makes it necessary to develop a whole range of services: enough train links, diversified tariffs and travel formulas, and also practical purchase systems.

The largest possible number of people implies that we also take charge of people with reduced mobility and offer trains that are easily accessible and suitably equipped. We must organise these activities in a sustainable manner, in other words, with respect for the environment and taking into account the needs of society.

Our vision: keeping an eye on the economy, life in society and the environment

The vision of a company is still often reduced to the creation of financial value, in other words, earning money. Our vision (and that of many modern companies) is broader: we want to create added value both for the economy and for society and the environment. In marketing terms, we speak of a “triple bottom line” vision, or the 3 Ps: profit, people, planet.

We do not focus only on our profit, but we also consider the benefits our activities can bring to other economic players such as companies, employees or the government. We also seek profit for society and the environment. Thus, by transporting students and employees in perfect safety to their various destinations we contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.


This is the economic aspect of our strategy. The SNCB makes a positive contribution to the Belgian economy. By taking commuters to work every morning by train and by transporting increasing numbers of passengers, we are limiting traffic jams and thus also the economic cost they entail. A good train link or a new stop can contribute to opening up the economy of a region. Good examples of this are the stops around Arlon (Aubange, Messancy) or the station of Noorderkempen in the province of Antwerp.

If we are to remain a large-scale economic player, our company needs healthy financial management. In other words, we must limit our costs while developing our productivity and our income.


Our activities are led by societal concerns. We want to give everyone the opportunity to travel. We offer advantageous formulas for young people (Go Pass) and for people who are less young (Senior Ticket). We do all we can to accompany people with reduced mobility in the largest possible number of stations and stops. Our timetables take school opening hours into account, for example. Furthermore, the SNCB gives support to a number of societal actions conducted by various Belgian associations.

We develop our employees' skills and abilities by offering them a whole range of training and career advancement opportunities. We are also careful to find the right balance between work and private life. We also encourage diversity. Regardless of people’s age, origin, sex or educational level, we want everyone to feel comfortable in the company and to flourish.


For large numbers of passengers, our trains are much more environmentally friendly than any other means of motorised transport. The more people travel by train, the better it is for the planet. And if you go to the station on foot or on a bicycle that is the best of all!  

We pay permanent attention to the environment*. We try to reduce the amount of energy consumed by our trains. In the workplace and in the workshops, we are constantly implementing measures to save energy. We also sort our waste.

What are our objectives?

Most people have clear objectives in their lives:  a house, a family and a job. The same is true for the SNCB: the transport we provide must be reliable, efficient and customer oriented, whether it be for passengers or goods.


Safe travel

Trains are one of the safest forms of transport.  Between 2001 and 2010, 40 passengers regrettably lost their lives, whereas on average, the roads claim 1,000 victims every year. Fortunately, disasters such as the Buizingen crash in February 2010 are exceptional in the history of the SNCB. In order to avoid them, the company does all it can to enhance the safety levels by installing more modern technical systems.

Travelling on time

Apart from those who take a train for pleasure alone, everyone wants to reach their destination on time. This is true for all our customers. After safety, punctuality is one of our main priorities. The less delays there are, the more our customers will be satisfied. Punctuality is everyone’s business at the SNCB – drivers, attendants, workshop technicians and schedulers: we all contribute to the final result.


Healthy management of public funds

Passenger transport within Belgium is a public service. For this, the SNCB receives considerable funds from the state every year. Of course, the SNCB must show it manages these funds efficiently to achieve a balance between revenue and expenditure.

Profitable work

International passenger traffic and freight activities are liberalised in Europe, with two main consequences:

  • competitors can offer their services, and already do so extensively in the freight sector;
  • the SNCB may not receive any public grants for these activities. It must carry them out with its own funds, so they have to be profitable.

Customer oriented

Quality first

Quality is everywhere! It is in the cleanliness of our trains, the availability of seating and the sufficient number of trains. Quality of information is also important, in the case of delays, for example, or the ease with which customers can buy their tickets or surf on our website. In the freight sector: monitoring a convoy and customer information, to name only a few items on a long list.

Working in the heart of competition

For traffic within Belgium, cars are our main competitor; for freight transport it is lorries. Even within the realm of rail transport, competition is becoming fiercer, both for freight and international passenger traffic. In the (near) future, other transport companies will also be able to provide links within Belgium. If we are to remain the leading player in rail transport within Belgium in the future, we must start now by achieving our objectives.

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