A Regional Express Network in Brussels
Infrabel is laying new tracks on the major railway lines around Brussels in order to develop a Regional Express Network. This extra capacity will enable faster and more frequent rail links to and from Brussels, thereby providing a wider range of public transport services.
Why a Regional Express Network? Improve public transport in and around Brussels
Brussels is the capital of Europe and attracts many commuters every day. All national and European organisations are based in Brussels and many companies have their head office there. Congestion is an everyday phenomenon during rush hour.
More and more commuters are taking public transport to travel to Brussels. However, the rising number of passengers is putting a lot of pressure on the bus, tram, metro and train networks. The integration of the different methods of public transport alone cannot provide a solution to road congestion.
The Regional Express Network aims to improve public transport within a 30-kilometre radius of the capital.
What work is Infrabel carrying out?
Infrabel is laying extra tracks on the major railway lines around Brussels. Capacity on Regional Express Network lines will double from two to four tracks, so that direct rail traffic is completely separated from slower local train traffic.
To improve passenger comfort and better align the different modes of transport, the stops and stations on the main routes around Brussels are being modernised. Platforms are being raised, platform equipment is being replaced and accessibility for disabled passengers is being improved. New stops have also been opened in the Brussels region as part of the Regional Express Network: Bruxelles-Ouest/Brussel-West, Simonis, Germoir/Mouterij, Arcades/Arcaden, Diesdelle, etc. There will also be a new Regional Express Network stop in Anderlecht.
The Regional Express Network also aims at improving mobility around the European District in Brussels. A new rail link between the Brussels-Schuman station and the Halle-Vilvoorde railway line will ensure the economic heart of Brussels is more central than ever in the rail network. Now that the new rail tunnel has been put in to operation, Schuman is only 15 minutes away from the airport.
Timing of the works
The progress of this project is dependent on the decisions and negotiations for the new multi annual investment plan for the Belgian railways.
The Brussels-Halle (L96) and Brussels-Leuven (L36) lines have been completed. The expansion works on the Brussels-Nivelles (L124), Brussels-Ottignies (L161) and Brussels-Denderleeuw (L50A) lines are still ongoing.
The construction of additional tracks in Mechelen is aligned perfectly with the expansion of the Regional Express Network and will reduce the journey time between Mechelen and Brussels. Together, the Diabolo rail link and Regional Express Network make Brussels Airport easily accessible by rail.
- RER works in Brussels railways 161 and 26, 01/01/2004
- RER construction site at Rixensart and Wavre: upgrade to four tracks, February 2011 - The first part of the civil engineering work was completed at the end of 2015
- RER construction site at Ottignies: upgrade to four tracks, August 2006 - December 2016
- RER construction site at Nivelles centre: upgrade to four tracks, November 2007 - The civil engineering works were completed in March 2013
- RER construction site in La Hulpe: upgrade to four tracks, March 2011 - The civil engineering work was completed by the end of 2014
- RER construction site in Genval: upgrade to four tracks, March 2009 - The civil engineering work was completed in early 2013
- Construction of a traction substation at Genval, August 2015 - October 2016
- RER construction site in Braine-l’Alleud South: upgrade to four tracks, June 2010 - Civil engineering works ended in November 2014
- RER construction site Braine-l’Alleud North – Waterloo South: upgrade to four tracks, April 2007 - The civil engineering works were completed in 2010
- Construction of a traction substation at Ottignies, 1st of March 2014 - Autumn 2016
- RER construction site in Watermael-Boitsfort: through town and forest, 2010 - End of the first phase of civil engineering in October 2014
- RER construction site in Uccle, October 2009 - The civil engineering works are completed
- RER works at Hoeilaart to improve mobility to and from Brussels, 2011 - Civil engineering works ended in 2014