30 November 2018
At an official press event, on Wednesday 28 November Infrabel opened the four-track connection between Brussels and Denderleeuw.
The inauguration of the line took place in the presence of Prime Minister Charles Michel and Minister of Mobility Bellot. Strukton Rail (Belgium) played an important role in three of the four tenders of this project.
From Sunday 9 December, trains will be better distributed over the four rails between Anderlecht and Denderleeuw. The increased capacity will ensure faster flow and benefit the robustness of rail traffic. The capacity expansion is part of the GEN project (Gewestelijk ExpressNetwerk) around Brussels.
The four-track line with increased capacity
The work to create four tracks on the 15 km long railway line between Anderlecht and Sint-Katherina-Lombeek started in April 2008. Unique to the project was that, during those years, a brand new rail infrastructure was developed while the middle two rails continued to operate. At the end of January 2016, during two transition weekends, these two new (outside) rails (line 50C) were commissioned. This was followed by the next phase of the work: the modernisation of the two existing (middle) rails of line 50A. Just three years later, this work was completed, meaning that the busiest rail connection in Belgium (the Brussels – Denderleeuw – Ghent axis) now has four good quality rails between Anderlecht and Sint-Katherina-Lombeek. Every day, 275 trains travel along the Brussels – Denderleeuw line (in both directions) and during rush hour this can rise to 25 trains an hour.
Gradual expansion of the GEN
This expansion to four rail tracks is part of the Gewestelijk ExpressNet (GEN) to gradually optimise mobility to and from the capital. Infrabel invested a total of 540 million euros in the construction of the two new rails (line 50C) and the renovation of the two existing rails (line 50A) between Brussels and Denderleeuw. An investment which will benefit safety, punctuality, capacity and therefore mobility.