Coast Tram (Belgium)

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The Coast Tram (Dutch: Kusttram) is a public transport service connecting the cities and towns along the entire Belgian (West Flanders) coast, between De Panne near the French border and Knokke-Heist near the Dutch border. At 67 kilometres (42 mi) in length, it is the world's longest tram/light rail line currently in service,[1] as well as one of the few interurban tramways in the world to remain in operation. The line is built at 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge and fully electrified at 600 V DC.

Coast Tram
Kusttram
De Lijn Vicinal Tramways
Coast Tram route (interactive map)
Map of the route
Operation
LocaleBelgian coastal towns from Knokke-Heist to de Panne.
Open1885
StatusIn Service
Owner(s)De Lijn
Infrastructure
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
Electrification600 V DC
Depot(s)Adinkerke, De Panne, Nieuwpoortsesteenweg, Oostende, Knokke-Heist
StockBN series 6000, + HermeLijn from Antwerp or Ghent.(temporary)
Statistics
Route length67 km (41.63 mi)
WebsiteDe Kusttram
Belgian Coast Tram
Knokke Station
Duinbergen Watertoren
Duinbergen
Heist Heldenplein
Heist Dijk
Zeebrugge Zeesluis
Bridges over Pierre Vandamme lock
Zeebrugge Kerk
Bridges over Visart lock
Zeebrugge Vaart
Zeebrugge Strandwijk
Turning loop Duinse Polders
Blankenberge Duinse Polders
Blankenberge Sealife-Floreal
Blankenberge Pier
Blankenberge Station
Blankenberge Markt
Turning wye Harendijke
Wenduine Harendijke
Wenduine Manitoba
Wenduine Centrum
Wenduine Molen
Wenduine Konijnenpad
Turning loop Zwarte Kiezel
De Haan Zwarte Kiezel
De Haan Waterkasteellaan
De Haan aan Zee
De Haan Preventorium
De Haan Vosseslag
Bredene Renbaan
Bredene Campings
Bredene aan Zee
Oostende Duin en Zee
Oostende Weg naar Vismijn
Bridges over lock to Vlotdok
Oostende Station
Oostende Marie-Joséplein
Oostende Koninginnelaan
Turning wye Sportstraat plus track to depot Nieuwpoortse Steenweg.
Oostende Renbaan
Oostende Northlaan
Mariakerke Bad
Oostende Ravelingen
Oostende Raversijde
Raversijde Domein Raversijde
Middelkerke De Greefplein
Middelkerke Casino
Middelkerke Verhaeghelaan
Middelkerke Krokodiel
Westende Belle Vue
Westende Bad
Westende Sint-Laureins
Lombardsijde Zeelaan
Lombardsijde Schoolstraat
Nieuwpoort Stad
Nieuwpoort Cardijnlaan
Nieuwpoort Ysermonde
Nieuwpoort Bad
Nieuwpoort Zonnebloem
Turning wye Zonnebloem
Oostduinkerke Groenendijk Bad
Oostduinkerke Duinpark
Oostduinkerke Bad
Oostduinkerke Schipgat
Koksijde Lejeunelaan
Koksijde Bad
Koksijde Ster der Zee
Koksijde Sint-Idesbald
De Panne Golfstraat
De Panne Centrum
De Panne Esplanade
Turning wye DP terminus + track to depot De Panne(museum-tram-depot)
De Panne Kerk
De Panne Moeder Lambic
De Panne Plopsaland
Turning loop Adinkerke
Adinkerke depot
De Panne Station

In 2022, the A Line in Los Angeles, California will supersede the Coast Tram at 79.7 kilometres (49.5 mi) as the longest light rail/interurban line in the world.[2]

HistoryEdit

The first section of the line between Ostend and Nieuwpoort was opened in 1885, although the original route was further inland than the modern one and only short parts of the original section in Oostende and Nieuwpoort centres are still in operation. On its creation, the line was managed by the NMVB (Nationale Maatschappij van Buurtspoorwegen), that operated an interurban tram system throughout Belgium. In 1991, the NMVB/SNCV was broken into two regional companies, one Walloon and the other Flemish, with the Flemish successor company, Vlaamse Vervoermaatschappij De Lijn taking responsibility for operation of the coastal tram.

CharacteristicsEdit

 
The Belgian Coast Tram near Ostend

The service makes 67[3] stops along the ca.67 km line, with a tram running every 10 min during the peak summer months (every 20 min in the winter months), and it is used by over 15[4] million passengers per year. The service has been made more accessible by new low-floor centre sections to existing vehicles and a few new HermeLijn low-floor trams.(temporary,in summer) (from Ghent and Antwerp)

While most of the older trams are unidirectional and so have to be turned on a loop in order to reverse direction, the newer ones are bidirectional, with driving positions and doors on both end/sides.

Interesting features are the sea-view between Oostende and Middelkerke, the tracks through the dunes at De Haan, the high-speed, and the two alternative routes that exist around both ends of the Leopoldkanaal locks, just east of Zeebrugge, and the similar single track diversion around the inland end of the Boudewijnkanaal lock. That avoids delays when the road bridge that the tram line normally follows is raised for boats passing under it. There is a similar feature at the southern end of Ostend station around the lock entrance to the Vlotdok.

The maximum speed is official 78 kilometres per hour (48 mph). This speed is common between the villages.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Facts & Figures". Yarra Trams. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  2. ^ Broverman, Neal (2016-10-07). "Metro's Regional Connector Will Change Everything Los Angeles Magazine". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  3. ^ website "de lijn"
  4. ^ see: Kusttram on Wikipedia.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°15′54″N 3°00′20″E / 51.26495°N 3.00544°E / 51.26495; 3.00544