Belgium

Existing Systems

Antwerp
Brussels
Charleroi
DePanne - Knokke
Ghent
Grottes de Han
Thuin

Under Construction

Liege




Photo courtesy of
Yves-Laurent HANSART

Charleroi

light rail (le Vicinal)

Opened in 1887*, the Charleroi light rail (Métro Léger)  was originally part of the "Vicinal", an interurban network of trams that covered Belgium like a spider web, reportedly more than 5,000 km of tracks. The 4 line light rail section of the tram network currently covers 35.2 km, including 9 underground stations.  From Pétria station, trams not considered part of the subway continued on to the town of Anderlues. In 2012, the downtown loop was completed.

Originally intended to be a large underground loop, with many "antennae" radiating from the loop, it is now just three quarters of a loop with three antennae. Many doubt the MLP, the subway's operating authority, will expand the line any further, let alone finish off the abandoned above ground and underground stations that situnused for decades due to lack of funds.




In July 2002, tram2000 reported that the regional government of Wallonie has decided to complete the decade-long project of the Charleroi light metro. The project was to be completed in 5 years, with a budget of  EUR 76.5 million.

We all know how well that went, but the extension plans ar still the same.

1) The circular route around the centre of Charleroi will be completed: the route will surface just beyond Luxembourg to continue along the Place Tirou to the river Sambre. This will be crossed by means of a curved bridge, after which a private right of way will lead to the Gare du Sud, following a stretch of old TEPCE/STIC route. The Sud terminus will have to be rebuilt again.
2) The Gilly route will be extended to Soleilmont.
3) The Gosselies route, formerly route 62, will be reopened.
4) The Châtelet route will not be completed

The newest development for the Charleroi Metro occurred in 2013, brining an addition of 7.2 km of street running to a terminal at Faubourg de Brouxelles.

TAU

The Charleroi area also has a "TAU" (Transport Automatisé Urbain) test track 5 km north in nearby Jumet. (see below). The
TAU is being developed by ACEC, a division of GEC Alsthom. From this design, allegedly, came the hybrid light rail--guided-bus, or "light braile",  that now operates in Nancy, France.

Photo thanks to Guy Demeulder

Transit Gloria Mundi has an excellent documentary about the Vicinal called Mines, Mills & Metros.

* The subway section opened in 1981.

Build it and they won't come - the Charleroi light metro
Unofficial Vicinal Home Page
Youtube abondoned stations from Urbex
Metro lgere de Charlerois - abandonded
TEC Charleroi Homepage

Trammuseum Schepdaal - The Vicinal

Another
official home page!
ERS
tram/LRT pix
ASVi
- A rail museum running trams between Lobbes and Thuin
Dierick Francios'
The Tramways of Charleroi is one of my favourite sites. Make sure you take the tour by clicking on the stations of the map.
The Lost Rail Vehicles of Charleroi

TAU
(Transport Automatisé Urbain) photos from the ERS

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