A strengthened SNCB’s suburban ‘S’ service in the Brussels region was launched on Sunday. On Monday morning, the renovated station of Tour & Taxis was inaugurated, as well as the new Germoir stop. The latter was expected since the end of its construction in 2007. The inauguration was held in the presence of mayors Willy Decourty of Ixelles and Vincent De Wolf of Etterbeek, together with the Ministers of Mobility Jacqueline Galant (federal) and Pascal Smet (regional).
SNCB’s suburban offer, which is part of the broader concept of the RER (Regional Express Network) in Brussels, is based on existing rail lines and new services. The initial scope of the network has been limited however, because the commissioning of the Schuman-Josaphat tunnel was postponed to April. A total of 13 lines in a radius of 30 kilometres around Brussels are concerned and have been added the prefix ‘S’ before the number.
“These openings allow them to be genuinely optimistic about the continued deployment of suburban rail services to, from and in Brussels”, announced Jacqueline Galant enthusiastically. “The new transportation plan for December 2017 will be crucial. Our goal is to increase the frequency of the S lines then.”
Pascal Smet emphasized the importance of inter-modality: “This is a small step in the right direction. In the coming weeks and months, we are going to develop a broader integration between the M (metro) and S (suburban) networks.” The S5 lines (Hal – Mechelen) and S9 (Braine-L’Alleud – Landen) now serve Germoir on weekdays, with an average of 4 to 5 trains per hour. The S10 line (Dendermonde – Aalst) stops every hour both on weekdays and during the weekend at the Tour and Taxis stop, called “Pannenhuis” before its renovation. This station was opened in 1983 but was in service only for a year.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)