The city of Brussels is to get two new tram lines, the regional government decided this week. One tram will link Place Rogier with the military hospital at Neder-over-Heembeek, which is also one of the country’s leading centres for the treatment of serious burns. The second tram will join Place Rogier with the Tour & Taxis site, which as well as shops and exhibition spaces now also includes offices for civil servants of the Flemish government. More offices and apartments are due to follow.
At present, there is no full-time public transport link between the city centre and Tour & Taxis, which led to complaints by Flemish functionaries forced to walk from their commute at Gare du Nord to their new offices, though a residential area by the canal which they said made them feel insecure and threatened.
The new tram line will pass by Rue Picard at the side of the site in Molenbeek, to terminate at metro station Belgica, mobility minister Pascal Smet said. There. It will connect to existing tram 51, one of the city’s longest, passing through Molenbeek, Gare du Midi, St-Gilles and Uccle.
The Neder-over-Heembeek line links the Gare du Nord with existing transport lines at Van Praet, and brings a new impetus to an area of the city in full development, with a new research centre by chemical company Solvay linked to the VUB and ULB, as well as a new Bpost package sorting centre as well as the Brugmann hospital and the Queen Astrid military hospital.
The works to create the new lines will take an estimated six years, the government said.