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New Tour & Taxis tramline will run all the way to Central Station

16:28 16/07/2021

The new tramline that will connect Tour & Taxis with North Station will continue on to Central Station, mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) has announced. The line will run from the Belgica metro station southeast to end at Central Station.

Stib had wanted the line to take in Place Rogier and ride along the inner ring road to Botanique. This route was quite “labour intensive” and could have led “to a significant delay,” said Van den Brandt, so the government has gone another way.

From Belgica, the tram will reach Tour & Taxis via Rue Picard. It will then head over the new Suzan Daniel Bridge to arrive at North Station via Boulevard Simon Bolivar. From there, it will make its way southward via Boulevard Saint-Lazare, run under the ring road and take Boulevard Pacheco in the direction of Central Station.

Route of new tramline
The route of the new tramline

Not only does this create a direct connection between Central and North stations, it makes it easy to connect with metro lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, as well as tramlines 25, 32, 51, 92 and 93. “Brussels is investing heavily in public transport,” said Van den Brandt. “This new tram line is an important step for mobility and multimodality in the northwest of Brussels.”

The new tramline, she points out, will connect residential areas with both established and new business districts. “Densely populated areas such as the Maritime and Brabant neighbourhoods” will be connected to “key mobility hubs and green oases such as Tour & Taxis and the Botanique,” she said. “The fact that the new Suzan Daniel Bridge connects all of this is symbolic of a city that changes every day.”

The timing of the construction of the new tram line is not yet known.

Metro 3 delayed again

The completion of the much-discussed new metro line 3, meanwhile, has been postponed again – this time to 2032. The new lines runs from Haren in the north to Albert premetro station in the south, taking in North Station and South Station.

Last year ground broke on metro 3, which will connect Forest to Evere. It will provide Evere, Schaerbeek and Forest with their first metro connections.

Construction was meant to last 10 years, but now that will be at least 12 years, according to Van den Brandt. It is not the first time that two years has been added to the construction period; it was originally meant to complete in 2028.

According to Beliris, the agency that provides federal funds to the capital, not all of the development permits have been approved, a process that was slowed up by the corona crisis. Beliris spokesperson Elien De Swaef says that a specific date of completion is in fact impossible to determine at this time.

“We can only do that when the permits are approved,” she said. Some of the environmental impact studies – required for the approval of development permits – are still ongoing. “These studies can bring with them additional demands, which can mean extra time.”

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw