ⓘ Trams in Antwerp

Trams in Antwerp

ⓘ Trams in Antwerp

The Antwerp tramway network is a network of tramways forming part of the public transport system in Antwerp, a city in the Flemish region of Belgium. The network is operated by the Flemish regions transportation company De Lijn. As of April 2017, it featured fourteen lines, eight of which pass partially underground.


1. General description

The Antwerp tram system features segments with different characteristics, from following along with street traffic to tunnels, which do not differ much from subway rail setup - 1.000 mm 3 ft 3 ⁄ 8 in track gauge and a 600 volts catenary power feed.

The tram network is connected to the Flemish Tram and Bus Museum and heritage rides are regularly organised over the network with historical vehicles.


2. Horse trams, and Omnibus

Horse-drawn trams were the predecessor of nowadays electric trams. The first mention for the existence of the "American Tram" fr. Tramway Americain as the horse tram was referred to, was in correspondance addressed to the citywide proprietors Ed. Paujaurd’hui and A. Edvard on June 27, 1865. However, just 6 years later March 14, 1871 the city council allowed for the construction of tram lines. The first horse tram line opened in Antwerp on May 25, 1873. It linked the church in Berchem now a district of Antwerp with the Meir, an avenue in the city center.

Nine years later, already 9 lines of horse-drawn trams existed in Antwerp. There was also one omnibus route. The public transport of Antwerp was exploited by 9 different companies. One of them operated an omnibus, the other eight various horse tram routes.


3. Electrification

The work permit for electrifying the tram system was granted to CGTA on March 12, 1902 just after half year from applying. November 22, 1901. Along with electrification plans were made to rebuild lines from 1.435 mm 4 ft 8 1 ⁄ 2 in gauge to 1.000 mm 3 ft 3 ⁄ 8 in.

The works started on the omnibus route Draakplaats - Grote Markt now - route № 11. In fact this was the first real tram line onthis routewhich, since omnibuses are road transport, rather than rail transport. Therefore, there was no infrastructure before electrifying this line.

On May 6, 1902 following the former omnibus route, tracks were laid, from Draakplaats to Nieuwstraat. After that the tracks started to be installed along with the electrification of the horse-drawn line on the boulevard ring Leien. For a time, out of service omnibusses temporarily replaced horse-drawn cars. On July 9, 1902, horse drawn cars started to move on a former omnibus route segment from Nieuwstraat to Grote Markt.

The first gantry for an electric tram line was installed on June 10, 1902 on the Kunstlei boulevard now Frankrijklei, between the crossing of De Keyserlei and the Gemeenteplaats now Fr. Rooseveltplaats. On August 13, 1902 the catenary was connected to the temporary electric power substation, which was erected in a tram depot on Boudewijnstraat. Then the electric tram tests started. The normal operation of an electric tram started on September 2, 1902. First there was a mix of electric trams and horse cars on the line. Later the horse-drawn trams left the boulevards of Antwerp - forever.


4. Tram lines since 8 December 2019

There are currently many roadworks and changes going on in Antwerp, the tramlines have constant small changes every month, this information may be outdated.


5. Rolling stock

In August 2012, De Lijn ordered a fleet of Flexity 2 trams from Bombardier, including 28 for Antwerp. These would replace many of the older PCC trams, and displace Hermelijn trams onto other routes.

PCC cars are regularly used in coupled pairs. On 6 November 2017, De Lijn started testing so-called "mega-trams" consisting of two Hermelijnen coupled together, on route 3. The resulting trains are 61 metres long and can carry 500 passengers. Their use would increase the capacity of the underground sections of the line where the minimum headway has already reached its limit of 2 minutes. They may be introduced into service at the start of 2018.

  • low - floor trams temporary, in summer from Ghent and Antwerp While most of the older trams are unidirectional and so have to be turned on a loop in order
  • trams also carry freight. Trams are now commonly included in the wider term light rail which also includes grade - separated systems. Some trams known
  • the - 3 level. Tram lines 3, 5, 9 and 15 still pass through the station, but do not halt there. Opera station lies in the center of Antwerp under the crossing
  • by the shorthand Van Eeden is an underground station in the Antwerp premetro network located in the Linkeroever suburb on the left bank of the river Scheldt
  • Berchem is a southern district of the municipality and city of Antwerp in the Flemish Region of Belgium. Berchem is located along the old Grote Steenweg
  • 1938 forward trams between Antwerp and Putte rode through Hoevenen. Line 72, between September 1, 1936 and February 1, 1938 no passenger trams rode between
  • and 15. Tram line 7 passes in close proximity at street level. The station is located in central Antwerp at the western end of the Meir street. In its immediate
  • the Flemish government in Belgium to provide public transportation with about 2240 buses and 399 trams De Lijn was founded in 1991 after the public transportation

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