Brussels-North railway station

Brussels-North railway station (French: Gare de Bruxelles-Nord, Dutch: Station Brussel-Noord), officially Brussels-North (French: Bruxelles-Nord, Dutch: Brussel-Noord), is one of the three major railway stations in Brussels, Belgium; the other two are Brussels-Central and Brussels-South. Every regular domestic and international train (except Thalys and Eurostar) passing there has a planned stop. The station has 200,000 passengers per week, mainly commuters, making it one of the busiest in Belgium.

Brussels-North
SNCB logo.svg 3 4
SNCB logo.svg Railway Station
Station Brussel-Noord Stationshal.jpg
Main hall of Brussels-North railway station
General information
LocationRue du Progrès / Vooruitgangstraat 76
B-1030 Schaerbeek, Brussels-Capital Region
Belgium
Coordinates50°51′36″N 4°21′42″E / 50.86000°N 4.36167°E / 50.86000; 4.36167Coordinates: 50°51′36″N 4°21′42″E / 50.86000°N 4.36167°E / 50.86000; 4.36167
Owned byInfrabel
Operated bySNCB/NMBS
Line(s)0, 25, 27, 36, 50, 161
Platforms12
Connections
  Line 3
  Line 4
Construction
ArchitectJacques and Paul Saintenoy
Architectural styleModernism
Other information
Station codeFBN
History
Opened1952
Location
Brussels-North is located in Brussels
Brussels-North
Brussels-North
Location within Brussels
Brussels-North is located in Belgium
Brussels-North
Brussels-North
Brussels-North (Belgium)
Brussels Premetro
North-South Axis
42555
Brussels-North
(Gare du Nord/Noordstation)
SNCB logo.svg 4
Rogier 26
De Brouckère 15
Bourse/Beurs
Anneessens
5182
Lemonnier
81
Brussels-South
(Gare du Midi/Zuidstation)
SNCB logo.svgEurostar26
8182
Porte de Hal/Hallepoort 26
Parvis de Saint-Gilles/
Sint-Gillis Voorplein
Horta 8197
Albert
5134

Brussels-North is the end point of the premetro (underground tram) North–South Axis (on lines 3 and 4), and an important node of the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (STIB/MIVB), as well as of bus lines of the Flemish transport company De Lijn. More than 30 regional bus lines depart from there, as do international Eurolines coach services.

The station is located in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek, in the middle of the Northern Quarter business district (also called Little Manhattan), with several corporation headquarters such as Belgacom Towers, Rogier Tower and others, government offices, as well as Flemish ministries. Right next to the station is the Rue d'Aerschot/Aarschotstraat, an area of prostitution "behind windows".[1]

NamingEdit

The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual; hence, both the French and Dutch names of the station—Bruxelles-Nord and Brussel-Noord—are official. Outside Belgium, this often leads to the use of combined shorthands; for example in the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable, Brussels-North is designated as Brussels Nord/Noord; NS (Dutch Railways) announce the station as Brussel Noord/Nord. The station's bilingual French–Dutch name is otherwise generally translated in English to Brussels-North.

HistoryEdit

First and second stations (1835–1952)Edit

The very first railway station in Brussels was Allée Verte/Groendreef railway station near the site of today's Yser/IJzer metro station, north of the City of Brussels. It was from there that, on 5 May 1835, the first passenger train on a public railway in continental Europe departed.[2][3]

This first station was replaced in March 1846 by a new monumental station on the Place Charles Rogier/Karel Rogierplein, a short distance east from the original site, on the territory of the municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode. Designed by the architect François Coppens in neoclassical style, this second "North Station" (French: Gare du Nord, Dutch: Noordstation) was a single-storey railway complex that stretched in width from the Rue d'Aerschot/Aarschotstraat to the Rue du Progrès/Vooruitgangsstraat, and in length, from the Place Rogier to the Avenue de la Reine/Koninginnelaan (nowadays a tunnel). To connect the neighbourhoods on both sides of the railway, there were only two pedestrian bridges: one at the Place Rogier and the other at the Rue Dupont/Dupontstraat. It consisted of 27 tracks.

The Belgian railway network grew rapidly during the second half of the 19th century, becoming the densest in continental Europe. By then, Brussels-North and Brussels-South had become the primary railway stations in Brussels. However, they were joined only by an inadequate single track running along what is today the Small Ring (Brussels' inner ring road). Many proposals were put forward to link the two stations more substantially. A law was finally passed in 1909 mandating a direct connection; however, the final project would not be completed until nearly half a century later.

Current station (1952–present)Edit

In 1952, a new transit station, located a few hundred metres further north, was built. It was designed in post-war modernist style by architects Jacques and Paul Saintenoy, assisted by Jean Hendrickx Vanden Bosch. The construction of the North–South connection between 1910 and 1953 ensured a train connection between the new station and the South Station. During the construction of the North–South connection, the tracks were raised and several underpasses were added. The old station on the Place Rogier was razed in 1955. A bus station was built on its former site, and then in 1960, the Rogier International Centre, also called the Martini Tower, which was formerly the tallest building in Belgium, and which housed the National Theatre of Belgium until 1999. The building was demolished in 2001, and was replaced by the 137-metre-tall (449 ft) Rogier Tower.[4] A group of statues from the station's former facade were reconstructed at the Warandepark in Diest, Flemish Brabant, Belgium.

An extensive public transport complex, the North Communication Center (or CCN), was built on the western side of the North Station in the 1970s. As a result, the station building (on the side of the Boulevard Simon Bolivar/Simon Bolivarlaan) is now part of this larger complex. The CCN connects the bus stop of De Lijn and STIB/MIVB, as well as the premetro, with the railway station. In 1992, the Brussels-Capital Region decided to erect an Art Deco-inspired office building for its officials above the CCN. Due to the construction of this CCN and the large volume of the office building above it, the architectural appearance of the North Station with its iconic clock tower was diminished.

Renovation works started in May 2010. The ticket hall was the first to be renovated and completed in 2012. The renovation works have been systematically continued since then. The intention is, among other things, to install new escalators and lifts and for the Rue d'Aerschot to have a fully-fledged entrance. Unlike the South Station, which was largely remodelled for the arrival of international express trains, the North Station has kept most of its post-war materials and decorative elements, highlighted during this recent renovation. The station has also kept its original clock tower.

Rail linesEdit

Brussels-North has 12 platforms. These passenger lines join in the station:

Few trains originate from Brussels-North. Instead, most trains through Brussels depart from Brussels-South, some from Schaarbeek.

 
A panorama of Gare du Nord/Noordstation premetro station, the platform for northbound trains to the left, southbound on the far right

Train servicesEdit

The station is served by the following services:[5]

  • High speed services (ICE) Brussels - Liege - Cologne - Frankfurt
  • Intercity services (IC-35) Amsterdam - The Hague - Rotterdam - Roosendaal - Antwerp - Brussels Airport - Brussels
  • Intercity services (IC-16) Brussels - Namur - Arlon - Luxembourg
  • Intercity services (IC-01) Ostend - Bruges - Gent - Brussels - Leuven - Liege - Welkenraedt - Eupen
  • Intercity services (IC-03) Knokke/Blankenberge - Bruges - Gent - Brussels - Leuven - Hasselt - Genk
  • Intercity services (IC-05) Antwerp - Mechelen - Brussels - Nivelles - Charleroi (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-06) Tournai - Ath - Halle - Brussels - Brussels Airport
  • Intercity services (IC-06A) Mons - Braine-le-Comte - Brussels - Brussels Airport
  • Intercity services (IC-11) Binche - Braine-le-Comte - Halle - Brussels - Mechelen - Turnhout (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-12) Kortrijk - Gent - Brussels - Leuven - Liege - Welkenraedt (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-14) Quiévrain - Mons - Braine-le-Comte - Brussels - Leuven - Liege (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-17) Brussels - Namur - Dinant (weekends)
  • Intercity services (IC-18) Brussels - Namur - Liege (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-20) Gent - Aalst - Brussels - Hasselt - Tongeren (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-20) Gent - Aalst - Brussels - Dendermonde - Lokeren (weekends)
  • Intercity services (IC-22) Essen - Antwerp - Mechelen - Brussels (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-22) Antwerp - Mechelen - Brussels - Halle - Braine-le-Comte - Binche (weekends)
  • Intercity services (IC-23) Ostend - Bruges - Kortrijk - Zottegem - Brussels - Brussels Airport
  • Intercity services (IC-23A) Bruges - Gent - Brussels - Brussels Airport (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-23A) Gent - Brussels - Brussels Airport (weekends)
  • Intercity services (IC-26) Kortrijk - Tournai - Halle - Brussels - Dendermonde - Lokeren - Sint Niklaas (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-29) De Panne - Gent - Aalst - Brussels - Brussels Airport - Leuven - Landen
  • Intercity services (IC-31) Antwerp - Mechelen - Brussels (weekdays)
  • Intercity services (IC-31) Antwerp - Mechelen - Brussels - Nivelles - Charleroi (weekends)
  • Brussels RER services (S1) Antwerp - Mechelen - Brussels - Waterloo - Nivelles (weekdays)
  • Brussels RER services (S1) Antwerp - Mechelen - Brussels (weekends)
  • Brussels RER services (S1) Brussels - Waterloo - Nivelles (weekends)
  • Brussels RER services (S2) Leuven - Brussels - Halle - Braine-le-Comte
  • Brussels RER services (S3) Dendermonde - Brussels - Denderleeuw - Zottegem - Oudenaarde (weekdays)
  • Brussels RER services (S6) Aalst - Denderleeuw - Geraardsbergen - Halle - Brussels - Schaarbeek
  • Brussels RER services (S8) Brussels - Etterbeek - Ottignies - Louvain-le-Neuve
  • Brussels RER services (S10) Dendermonde - Brussels - Denderleeuw - Aalst
Preceding station   Deutsche Bahn   Following station
ICE 79
towards Frankfurt
Preceding station   NMBS/SNCB   Following station
Intercity Direct 9200
toward Oostende
IC 01
toward Eupen
toward Blankenberge and Knokke
IC 03
toward Genk
IC 05
weekdays
toward Tournai
IC 06
toward Mons
IC 06A
Terminus
toward Binche
IC 11
weekdays
toward Turnhout
toward Kortrijk
IC 12
weekdays
toward Welkenraedt
toward Quiévrain
IC 14
weekdays
IC 16
toward Luxembourg
IC 17
weekends
toward Dinant
IC 18
weekdays
From Monday to Friday, except holidays
IC 20
From Monday to Friday, except holidays
toward Tongeren
On weekends and holidays
On weekends and holidays
toward Lokeren
From Monday to Friday, except holidays
toward Essen
IC 22
From Monday to Friday, except holidays
On weekends and holidays
On weekends and holidays
toward Binche
toward Oostende
IC 23
Terminus
toward Brugge
IC 23A
toward Kortrijk
IC 26
weekdays
toward Sint-Niklaas
toward De Panne
IC 29
toward Landen
From Monday to Friday, except holidays
IC 31
From Monday to Friday, except holidays
On weekends and holidays
On weekends and holidays
S 1
weekdays
toward Nivelles
TerminusS 1
weekends
S 1
weekends
toward Leuven
S 2
toward Dendermonde
S 3
weekdays
toward Oudenaarde
Terminus
S 6
toward Denderleeuw
S 8
toward Aalst
S 10
toward Dendermonde

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ News report re prostitution on Aarschotstraat/Rue d'Aerschot
  2. ^ Wolmar 2010, p. 20.
  3. ^ "Histoire en quelques mots — Français". molenbeek.irisnet.be. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  4. ^ "Dexia Tower, Brussels". SkyscraperPage. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  5. ^ Belgian railways timetable brochures in English Archived December 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine

BibliographyEdit