Infrabel proposes new Brussels North-South train tunnel
Infrabel and NMBS/SNCB are making a feasibility study about increasing the capacity of the North-South axis. For 2020-2040, they set three tasks. Firstly, short-term gains in the current link through better train management. Secondly, have more trains drive around instead of through Brussels. And lastly, in the long run, a new tunnel.
The new tunnel has to accommodate high-speed international trains that only stop at Brussels South. They currently have a separate track in the existing tunnel, so they don’t get caught up in train traffic. By removing them from the current situation, national trains get more capacity.
The internal proposal at Infrabel outlines two possible locations for the tunnel. The first option is a new tunnel between the international Brussels North and South stations. The second option takes the tunnel directly from Brussels South to Schaarbeek, making this the second international station.
The price tag of the project is around 2 billion euros, and completing it would take more or less ten years. By boring the tunnel rather than using an open built site, the city and its inhabitants would not be disturbed by the works.
N-VA: ‘privatize NMBS/SNCB’
N-VA is including the proposal in the negotiations for the next federal government. The socialist parties, also taking part in government negotiations, oppose the plan and even want to fuse the NMBS/SNCB and Infrabel.