TGV slowing down on Brussels-France route in August

The high-speed train, or TGV, between Brussels and France, will not run at its normal speed between 12 and 29 August. During that period, the HST will run on the conventional track up to the French border, which means the train will travel longer.

Railway network operator Infrabel announced the renovation works on Belgium’s oldest high-speed line, commissioned in 1997, earlier this year. The work will cost 310 million euros, last ten years, and mainly occur at night. However, the line will also be interrupted for two weeks each summer.

30 minutes extra

The first interruption is thus scheduled from 12 to 29 August, just after the Olympic Games in France. “During these works, Eurostar and TGV INOUI will be diverted via an alternative route, resulting in longer journey times,” said rail operator NMBS/SNCB.

Eurostar, for example, expects travel time to increase by half an hour in both directions, both between Brussels and Paris and between Brussels and London.

During the works, the HSTs will be diverted past Mons or Aat/Doornik /Infrabel

35,2 km of new rails

Specifically, a 17.6-km stretch of track between Tourpes (Leuze-en-Hainaut) and Brugelette will be overhauled in August. This will include 35.2 km of new rails, some 30,000 new crossbeams, and 5,500 tons of ballast, the layer of stones under the rails that acts as shock absorbers.

The high-speed line from Brussels to France (HSL1) is 74 km long. About a hundred trains travel on it every day at a speed of 300 km/hour. But the line is showing signs of aging, and if these are not addressed, the speed of trains will have to be limited from next year.

Regular traffic also experiences adjustments, specifically on connections between Mons and Brussels, Ath and Mons, and Mouscron and Brussels.

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