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The Regional Express Network
Infrabel is carrying out significant expansion work on various strategic railway axes to Brussels. Thanks to the Regional Express Network (RER), our capital city will be easier to reach via public transport thus reducing the ever-increasing road congestion. Once completed, peak hour waiting times will never exceed fifteen minutes for travellers within a 30 km radius of Brussels.
From two to four tracks
The only way to increase capacity is by doubling the number of tracks on the major axes running to and from Brussels. More specifically, this implies an expansion from two to four tracks. The rapid IC trains will use the inner two tracks while the local trains will use the outer two. This will prevent the quicker, direct trains from being held up.
The railway lines Brussels – Halle and Brussels – Leuven already have 4 tracks. Work is still being carried out on the lines Brussels – Denderleeuw, Brussels – Ottignies and Brussels – Nivelles. The Diabolo project will also lead to quicker and smoother train travel between Brussels and Antwerp. The RER is expected to be completed in 2019.
The steps involved in the RER project
- Ground works to broaden the track bed structure
- Widening of the bridges across the track
- Construction of several tracks
- Installation of telecommunications equipment
- Placement of catenary system
The train lines remain operational during the works.
Easy and cheap changeovers
The stations and stopping points on the main axes around Brussels will be adapted to suit the RER trains. While modernising the stops on the RER network, we are also streamlining connections with other forms of public transport. This means that passengers can easily switch from train to tram, bus and metro, etc.
Easy access to the European district
The Watermael-Schuman-Josaphat project is a significant link in the RER and will increase mobility around the Brussels European district. By 2015, Schuman square will be less than a fifteen-minute train ride from the airport. Travellers from Mechelen, Hasselt, Leuven or Liege will no longer have to change trains to reach the economic heart of Brussels. To this effect, Infrabel is building a 1.25 km tunnel to create a direct connection between the train tracks from Brussels to Namur and Halle to Vilvoorde.