The Port of Zeebrugge
Infrabel is laying new tracks and establishing rail yards in and around the Port of Zeebrugge. Using modern railway access, we aim to support the further growth of port activities. Passenger transport to and from the coast will also improve.
Why invest in the Port of Zeebrugge's railway access?
The Port of Zeebrugge is one of the main hubs in the Belgian economy. Around 40 million tonnes of freight passes through the Port of Zeebrugge every year, and it offers employment to no less than 27,000 people. And there is still quite a lot of potential for growth. Studies have shown that the port's throughput will continue to increase in the future.
Rail traffic is already an indispensable aspect of the transport of containers and cars towards the European hinterland. One third of all containers from Zeebrugge travel from the port to their final destination by train. In the future the government wants to increase this to 40%. The expansion of the railway infrastructure is necessary to enable the port to grow and to reduce road traffic in the Bruges region.
The railway line to Zeebrugge is also a busy passenger link that is of great value to tourism. The investments in the port's railway access will also open up more capacity for passenger transport to and from the coast.
Infrabel is responsible for railway track works, but the development towards better mobility to and from the port also involves other partners. Several other projects aim to improve transport by road or water.
What work is Infrabel carrying out?
Infrabel is thoroughly expanding the capacity of the railway lines and rail yards in the Port of Zeebrugge. We are laying new tracks and are eliminating various obstacles to improve the safety and punctuality of the region's rail traffic.
Meanwhile several new tracks and infrastructures have already been put in to operation:
The Ter Doest Curve
The Ter Doest Curve is a new railway line directly connecting the western and eastern areas of the port. This new one-track line is 1.7 km long and will improve the smooth flow of freight traffic in the port. In the past, freight trains had to return to Bruges railway station to go from one area of the port to the other. The Ter Doest Curve therefore saves carriers a great deal of time. This new railway infrastructure has been in operation since 2012.
Blauwe Toren flyover
The train entrance and exit areas in Bruges railway station are a busy urban junction for a huge number of freight and passenger trains every day. The rail traffic to and from the coast uses various railway lines depending on the final destination.
The railway line to Blankenberge/Knokke/Zeebrugge branches off into three lines at Blauwe Toren: one towards Zeebrugge, one towards Blankenberge and one towards Knokke. Some trains cross there, which means they have to wait. Thanks to the new viaduct, the trains can cross each other without hindrance. The flyover has been in operation since February 2015.
The modernisation of rail yards in the port
Infrabel is modernising the existing rail yards in the Port of Zeebrugge to allow rail traffic to increase in the future. Besides the construction of a completely new marshalling station at the port area's entrance and exit area, we also modernised the Ramskapelle and Voorhaven-West yards. The Pelikaan and Overgave yards have now been converted into one large rail yard.
Co-financed by the European Union
Infrabel has benefited from EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program.