VUB: ‘New tunnel to unclog Brussels North-South train connection’
According to a study of Brussels university VUB, digging a new tunnel to connect the train stations of Brussels South and Shuman through Brussels Central could help to unclog the Brussels North-South train line.
In the study entitled ‘Rail 4 Brussels’ published on Monday, researchers have looked at the best way to manage the connection through the South, Central and North stations of Brussels that processes 1.200 trains a day.
Geert te Boveldt and Cathy Macharisse have developed a new method called ‘COMCA’ (COMpetence-based Multi Criteria Analysis), conceived especially for ‘multi-actors, multi-level problems, typical for Brussels’.
“The problem of the North-South junction involves first and foremost rail transport, but it also concerns urban planning, spatial planning, local public transport, economy and environment in Brussels and the two Regions”, point out the researchers.
Their study proposes two solutions to enhance rail traffic under Brussels. The first solution would be to dig non-parallel tunnels to the North-South junction by using the 26 and 28 lines. “This solution is worth further investigation”, explain the VUB researchers.
The other solution, called ‘South-East’ seems the most promising, though. It involves digging a new tunnel between Brussels-South, Brussels-Central and Schuman. It won’t increase the North-South transport capacity, but it will help to ease traffic pressure.
Bypassing North Station
For example, commuters coming from Ghent could reach the European neighbourhood without passing through the North Station. This solution implicates the construction of a new tunnel going under the current rail tunnel and the Schuman metro.
“The COMCA results have to be interpreted with care”, warns the VUB, “in a project this complex the result can’t be taken as a solution but more as the start to a progressing process.”