Brussels public transport operator MIVB/STIB has officially declared tram line 18 open. The tram line has Albert station in Forest as its terminus. That station should become a multimodal hub for Brussels public transport. By 2030, three tram lines should converge there, as should the future metro line 3.
Albert station, located next to Forest Park, is equipped with a lift for people with disabilities and has two underground floors. Floor -2 will be the future platform for the metro.
On floor -1, travelers will find the various trams for tram lines 4, 7, and 18 (formerly tram 51). To clarify: tram line 18 links Albert station with Van Haelen station in Uccle, while the northern section, between the Stade/Stadion stop and Brussels South stop, will retain line number 51.
A possible extension of line 7 toward Forest is being studied and is among the future possibilities. For the moment, line 7 is extended from Vanderkindere to Albert. This extension will connect Brussels South and the city center, firstly with trams 3 and 4 and then with metro 3.
“This project is a technical challenge,” said the delegate director of MIVN-STIB Brieuc de Meeûs about the works, which have taken three years so far. “It is not just a renovation, but a complete transformation of the station, which was completely dismantled.”
Yet the plans to reorganize the Albert station also attract criticism. Urban movement BRAL believes that the service will not immediately improve but rather deteriorate.
This is because line 51 – now tram line 18 – no longer connects the south of Brussels with the center, Molenbeek, Jette, and Laeken. The arrival of metro line 3 also remains a point of discussion for several citizens’ movements.