Infrabel plans to construct a second railway tunnel along the Nord-Midi junction, L’Echo and De Tijd reported on Wednesday, basing their stories on a document from Infrabel’s administrative council that they were able to consult.
The popularity of the railways and RER’s development oblige the managing body of the railway system to increase the junction’s capacity from 30% to 50%.
Currently, no fewer than 88 trains go through the six-track tunnel every hour during rush hours – slightly less than the maximum of 96 per hour.
For the 2020-2040 period, three fields of action are being explored by Infrabel and the SNCB.
First of all, the junction’s current capacity could be increased by reducing track crossovers and improving train distribution in the tunnels. The number of trains using the bypass tracks could then be increased. But in the long term, the talk is of building a new underground junction.
The new tunnel should also allow the speed of international trains traversing the capital to be increased.
Two options are being studied: a tunnel between Bruxelles-Midi and Bruxelles-Nord stations, or between Bruxelles-Midi and Schaerbeek. The works would last ten years and cost €2 billion.