Infrabel will carry out works in the area of the junction between Brussels-North and Brussels-Midi during the night of Saturday 17 to Sunday 18 December, the rail infrastructure manager and SNCB announced on Tuesday in a joint press release. Train service will be severely disrupted. The work carried out by Infrabel will concern the deployment, between the stations of Schaerbeek and Brussels-Midi, of the European signaling system ETCS (European Train Control System, boxes located in the tracks which allow the exchange of information with the trains) . The objective is thus to reinforce safety on this axis used daily by 1,200 passenger trains, ie one third of the trains circulating on the Belgian rail network.
To allow the installation of ETCS beacons, no rail traffic will be possible for a few hours. The work will begin after the passage of the last trains (around 1:40 a.m.) and will last until the beginning of the morning (around 8:40 a.m.). Brussels-Midi station will be back in service from 6:40 a.m. but will only be accessible from the “south” side (Hal), specify Infrabel and SNCB.
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Concretely, practically no train to or from Brussels will run until 10:00 a.m. Replacement buses will be made available on Sunday morning to connect the capital and outlying towns. The few trains that will run will not go beyond a few large cities located on the outskirts of Brussels or will be diverted. To reach Zaventem airport before 10:30 am, it is advisable to take the Stib network, with your SNCB ticket.
From 10 a.m. until the end of the service, rail traffic in and around Brussels will be modified (including connections with Brussels-National Airport). Trains will not run beyond a few large cities located on its outskirts or will, in some cases, be diverted. Stib and De Lijn, the Brussels and Flemish public transport companies, will also offer alternatives on presentation of an SNCB transport ticket.
Infrabel and SNCB invite users of the rail network to consult the journey planner before going to the station. Further details on the impact of this work are available on the SNCB website.