- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Second Brussels North-South rail tunnel considered
Brussels' crowded north-south rail link would benefit from the construction of a second tunnel under the city centre, Belgian rail infrastructure firm Infrabel has proposed.
A document from Infrabel's board of directors, leaked to L'Echo and De Tijd, suggests embarking on a 10-year and €2 billion tunnel construction project alongside the existing north-south line.
Today, at peak times, 88 trains per hour travel underground between Brussels North and Midi stations, across six tracks.
With a gap of just three or four minutes between trains, the slightest delay in this bottleneck can cause disruption to the whole network.
According to the Infrabel document, capacity through Brussels needs to be increased by between 30 and 50% in the coming years.
The new tunnel would allow long-distance trains from Germany, the Netherlands, France and the UK to cross the city in less time.
Two possible routes are being considered: from Brussels Midi to either Brussels North, or Schaerbeek - which would become a new international terminal for trains from the north.
Photo: Paul-Henri Verlooy/Belga