- High-speed rail in Belgium
Belgium's rail network is served by four types of high-speed trains: Thalys, Eurostar, ICE and TGVtrains. All of them stop in BrusselsSouth station, Belgium's largest train station.Since 2007 Eurostarconnects Brussels to LondonSt Pancras. Before that date trains connected to LondonWaterloo. The German ICE operates between Brussels, Liègeand FrankfurtHbf.
HSL 1is a Belgian high speed railline which connects Brusselswith the French border. 88 km long (71 km dedicated high-speed tracks, 17 km modernised lines), it began service on 14 December 1997. The line has appreciably shortened rail journeys, the journey from Paristo Brusselsnow taking 1:22. In combination with the LGV Nord, it has also impacted international journeys to Franceand London, ensuring high-speed through-running by Eurostar, TGV, Thalys PBAand Thalys PBKAtrainsets. The total construction cost was €1.42 billion.
HSL 2is a Belgian high-speed rail line between Leuvenand Ans. 95 km long (61 km dedicated high-speed tracks, 34 km modernised lines) it began service on 15 December 2002. When its extension to the German border is completed (the HSL 3), the combined eastward high speed line will greatly accelerate journeys between Brussels, Parisand Germany. HSL 2 is currently used by Thalysand ICE trains as well as fast internal InterCityservices.
HSL 3is a Belgian high-speed railline currently under construction which will connect Liège to the German border. 56 km long (42 km dedicated high-speed tracks, 14 km modernised lines), it is scheduled for completion on 15 December 2007, but trains will not start to use it until 2009. HSL 3 will be used by international Thalysand ICE trains only, as opposed to HSL 2which is also used for fast internal InterCityservices.
HSL 4is a Belgian high-speed railline currently under construction which will connect Brusselsto the Dutch border. 87 km long (40 km dedicated high speed tracks, 57 km modernised lines), it is scheduled for completion by October 2008. HSL 4 will be used by Thalystrains as well as fast internal InterCityand NS Hispeedtrains. Between Brussels and Antwerp (47 km), trains travel at 160 km/h on the upgraded existing line (with the exception of a few segments where a speed limit of 120 km/h is imposed). At the E19/A12 motorway junction, trains leave the regular line to run on new dedicated high-speed tracks to the Dutch border (40 km) at 300 km/h.
There are 3 stations in Belgium where high-speed trains stop:
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