NMBS/SNCB to sell old coal track in Limburg
Belgian railway company NMBS/SNCB is planning to sell the old coal railway in Limburg, more specific, line 21a going from As via Dilsen-Stokkem to Maaseik (Limburg, Belgium), and line 21b going from Genk via As to Eisden (Limburg, Belgium). The railway company hopes to get 14,2 million euro for it, or 8,51 euro per square metre.
The 166 hectare large zone will be sold as a whole, it will not be possible to bid for separate parcels.
Touristic and economic opportunities
The province of Limburg is interested and would like to buy the complete area. “The province, the involved municipalities and Flemish government have indicated the area as a strategic project for Limburg”, explains deputy Inge Moors. “If we could buy the zone we could make a connection between the seven historic mine sites of the region. It would not only offer touristic but also economic opportunities.”
Green mobility network
Limburg has already implemented a bicycle highway, the so-called fietsostrade, from Ham to Riemst, and goal would be to do the same along the old coal track. “This way we could improve commuting and ease the accessibility to important strategic development zones. We want the old coal track to become a green mobility network.”
The coming weeks the province will make up a file and analyze the financial feasibility before making a bid, which will probably happen in May. The NMBS/SNCB is still free to decide to whom it will sell the territory, and it is not automatically the candidate-buyer with the highest bid, as seemed to be the case when the old coal tracks between Sint-Truiden en Tongeren (Limburg, Belgium) were sold.