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King Philippe opens Brussels' new tram line 9
Brussels has a new tram line since this weekend. King Philippe inaugurated line 9 on Saturday, driving the tram through the ribbon at Simonis metro interchange.
Tram 9 links Simonis with Arbre Ballon in upper Jette, via UZ Brussel hospital complex. It will eventually be extended to Heysel.
The king travelled on the first service towards Jette to inaugurate the redesigned Place Reine Astrid, where a car park has been moved underground to open up the space to the public.
Construction work on tram 9 began in September 2015 and the project has cost €76 million. A tram will run every six minutes at peak times and five existing bus routes have been altered.
Brussels mobility minister Pascal Smet said: "This is the first time in a long time that a new tram line has been created in Brussels. This achievement is a great example for the future - creating a new fast connection in just three years."
The city's tram network expands again on 1 October, when line 94 from Louise to the Tram Museum is extended to Roodebeek metro station and renumbered as line 8.
Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga