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Old June 17th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #321
Glodenox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I really don't get why people like Antwerpen Centraal. It is an ok-station from aesthetic viewpoint, though the infrastructure placement is interesting.
Different people, different tastes. Somehow Antwerp seems to please quite a few people in how it combines the old and the modern parts.

I'm personally looking forward to how Mechelen is going to look. I've used that station for years and it certainly deserves a make-over. The works there are slowly starting up, so I've got a lot to look forward to
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Old June 17th, 2013, 03:09 PM   #322
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While I don't understand economic times are not the best, something I don't get is why doesn't SNCB perform some very cheap and very basic maintenance on its key stations.

For instance, at Gare d Bruxelles Midi there are a lot of old telephone posts that haven't been used in years. They are empty boxes rotting away. Shouldn't cost more than 300 euros to remove them and throw in the trash! There are also some basic paint job that could greatly improve the looks of certain staircases and waiting areas.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #323
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Economic times have always been pretty much the same for the NMBS, it's the one excuse they can't claim (won't stop them though). It's all about (wrong) priorities and budgets, usually due to political meddling. The Brussels stations have been gravely neglected for years and I'm not expecting any improvements there any time soon, sadly enough. I seem to recall a story where the Government of Brussels refused to participate in the cost of modernizing the stations...

In Vilvoorde, a few kilometres further on, the roofs over the platforms haven't been painted for more than a decade, resulting in rust and rot. Now they had to put the supports in concrete to make sure that the roof wouldn't collapse on itself At least there it's certain that the station will be undergoing modernisation works, we just don't know exactly when.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 09:40 AM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
For instance, at Gare d Bruxelles Midi there are a lot of old telephone posts that haven't been used in years. They are empty boxes rotting away. Shouldn't cost more than 300 euros to remove them and throw in the trash! There are also some basic paint job that could greatly improve the looks of certain staircases and waiting areas.
There is a program of modernization of the station Brussels South almost
ready to start. But it requires to shut down some tracks for a while, which
is not that simple : Brussels South accommodates more than 1000 trains per
day, and during the peak hours doing with less tracks will be difficult.

So the first thing they need to do is to change the track usage pattern. For
the time being, east-side tracks are more used because all 3 main lines arrive
on this side. To change this, approaches of the station from the south are
being re-worked, notably for the line from Ghent, which will be shifted to the
west side of the station. Once that is done (it will still need a couple of years)
the refurbishment of the station itself will start.

In the mean time, pretexting the refurbishment program awaiting to start,
normal maintenance works have been cut or reduced, because the railway
management sees that as a waste of money, that could be better used
elsewhere. Not necessarily a bad decision, provided that the refurbishment
will indeed start as scheduled. If it is still delayed (it should have started
already, we are years late) we will indeed start seeing things collapsing...

On the other hand, the modernization of Brussels Central is finished, and
at Brussels North they are about to start.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post

On the other hand, the modernization of Brussels Central is finished,
Yeah, we all know the "renovated" Brussels Central station:

image hosted on flickr

Use of all sorts of materials, black walls, power lines on the ceiling,... The only good thing about the so-called "renovation" of Brussels Central is the floor with the shops. The platform level is still awful.


This is how a MODERN underground trainstation looks like:


Quote:
and at Brussels North they are about to start.
As far as I know there are -again- no plans to renovate the old-fashioned platforms, am I right?




The Brussels trainstations are a national disgrace.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #326
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I recon that. How hard can it be to come up with a fixed plan to demolish those vile concrete station platforms and put some light metal and glass work over them.

North (and actually also south) station looks worse than Eastern European trainstation.
Oh yes and that auwfull central. Bad lighting, dark, open concrete ceilings, old dirty marble everywhere. It looks unsafe, it feels unsafe and the plaforms and hallways are dirty most of times

The only thing I like about central is the main hall. They can keep that and demolish the rest.

YIKES!


http://www.fotoklubsab.eu/Wedstrijde...ion%202032.jpg



Brussels South: Is that supposed to be a modern station for the international travellers: CREEPS
Also look how dirty the roof is allready, maintanance ZERO


http://www.raretrack.com/050805be/05...01_brussel.jpg

Yes real glorious, afther 4 platforms this auwfull roof just stops and only some trusses stick over to the next platforms. What? They ran out of money?

http://imgec.trivago.com/uploadimage...9313086_l.jpeg

http://static3.7sur7.be/static/photo...ll_5289514.jpg

The other platforms just transport you back to USSR 1970
At least they made efford to at least paint some of them last year and put some new stones on the platforms.


http://upload.spoorpunt.nl/upload/p1430706_516.jpg
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Last edited by joshsam; June 18th, 2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 01:10 PM   #327
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Brussels South station, the old platforms before the paintjob last year. Can you believe this stayed like that untill 2012?:

What's this? Ukriane? Albania?
Ohno that's true even the main railway stations in Bulgaria look better than this.

All these pictures where taken in 2011 and 2012!!!!



http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gN1qwOfqTp...DSC_5038_2.JPG

image hosted on flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8438/7...2f657ed7_c.jpg

image hosted on flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8199/8...6ab55938_c.jpg

image hosted on flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6210/6...98958938_z.jpg

image hosted on flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6184/6...79e2ccb8_z.jpg

image hosted on flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6193/6...d5671975_z.jpg

image hosted on flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6122/5...90067618_z.jpg

image hosted on flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7227/7...6878c533_c.jpg

image hosted on flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8152/7...5755ba9a_c.jpg



Ow yes look at major change in 2013:
Paint on the roofs of the platforms! We should give the NMBS/SNCB a frigging applause!

image hosted on flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8228/8...9c9ffa45_c.jpg
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Last edited by joshsam; June 18th, 2013 at 01:21 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 01:39 PM   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
Yes real glorious, afther 4 platforms this auwfull roof just stops and only some trusses stick over to the next platforms.
I actually really like that new roof, it has soms "new art nouveau" feeling. Although some maintenance wouldn't hurt.

Not going to express me about the rest of the platforms though, the images speak for themselves.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 02:27 PM   #329
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I actually really like that new roof, it has soms "new art nouveau" feeling. Although some maintenance wouldn't hurt.
I feel the same about that roof. It feels spacious, lets through a decent amount of light and it's better than just having a roof over the platforms only (so without roof over the tracks).
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Old June 18th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #330
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Yeah, we all know the "renovated" Brussels Central station
Use of all sorts of materials, black walls, power lines on the ceiling,... The only good thing about the so-called "renovation" of Brussels Central is the floor with the shops. The platform level is still awful.
There is not much one can do about it however. Also don't forget that Brussel Centaal is a commuter station. I don't think all Barcelona Rodalies stations are spic and span....

Barcelona Sants is nice, but there are a lot of other things wrong with it.

As to Brussel Noord: I hope they restore it to the way is was in the 50ies, but with the addition of elevators. With a fesh coat of paint it actually is quite nice.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:05 PM   #331
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There is a program of modernization of the station Brussels South almost
ready to start. But it requires to shut down some tracks for a while, which
is not that simple : Brussels South accommodates more than 1000 trains per
day, and during the peak hours doing with less tracks will be difficult.

So the first thing they need to do is to change the track usage pattern. For
the time being, east-side tracks are more used because all 3 main lines arrive
on this side. To change this, approaches of the station from the south are
being re-worked, notably for the line from Ghent, which will be shifted to the
west side of the station. Once that is done (it will still need a couple of years)
the refurbishment of the station itself will start.
Actually trains from Gent always could access the Western tracks tracks. I used to travel on peak hour train from Gent to Brussel that arrived in the then still existing terminal tracks to the west of track 1 that got removed when the Eurostar terminal was build.
At the moment this is not possible because line 50A/1 is partly out of service. See:
http://www.infrabel.be/sites/default...ech_9700_2.pdf

But I guess that as soon as the parital quadrupling of line 50A is finished trains from Gent will be able to run to the lower numbered tracks again.

The plans for Brussel Zuid that I have seen involve the demolishing of the "new" canopy over tracks 1/6 as well. Lets hope by then that a separate Eurostar terminal won't be needed anymore...
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Old June 19th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #332
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Actually trains from Gent always could access the Western tracks tracks.
Yes I know. But that station approach was extremely slow so it was only used as a relief when the fast tracks could not absorb all the traffic, during
peak hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
But I guess that as soon as the parital quadrupling of line 50A is finished trains from Gent will be able to run to the lower numbered tracks again.
Yes. The new center fast tracks will end up there. That will allow all fast
trains coming from the coast to stay on the west side of Brussels all the way,
and then go straight on the new fast line to Liege, without having to cross
any other track.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Thermo View Post
Yeah, we all know the "renovated" Brussels Central station: Use of all sorts of materials, black walls, power lines on the ceiling,... The only good thing about the so-called "renovation" of Brussels Central is the floor with the shops. The platform level is still awful.
For a commuter station, what they have done is largely sufficient.
I prefer seeing the money spent in infrastructure and rolling stock
rather than in prestigious buildings with no useful purpose.

Comparing Brussels Central with a station that has long-distance and
international trafic is unfair, imho.

On the other hand, how many cities of one million inhabitants do offer a
train service of more than one thousand trains a day ? There is always a
limit in the money you can spend, so choices must be made...

And regarding Brussels South, I agree it's awful, but it's far from being
an exception in Western Europe... I'e been to London a few years ago,
one always sees pictures of the Eurostar station, which is indeed one
of the prettiest stations in today's world, but all others I have seen
(notably Paddington, just a stone throw away) looked at least as
derelict.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 03:37 PM   #334
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On the other hand, how many cities of one million inhabitants do offer a
train service of more than one thousand trains a day ? There is always a
limit in the money you can spend, so choices must be made...
Well Olten (10 tracks) has about 1700 trains a day... Bern (12 tracks) about 1400, Winterthur (9 tracks) 1200, and the absolute champion: Zürich (26 tracks) over 2000. In Zürich they had two tracks out of service most of the time the last couple of years in order to build a new underground extension...
But then again, Switzerland is in a class all of its own when it comes to railways.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 10:01 AM   #335
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Well Olten (10 tracks) has about 1700 trains a day... Bern (12 tracks) about 1400, Winterthur (9 tracks) 1200, and the absolute champion: Zürich (26 tracks) over 2000. In Zürich they had two tracks out of service most of the time the last couple of years in order to build a new underground extension...
But then again, Switzerland is in a class all of its own when it comes to railways.
Well most of the 1000+ trains that serve Brussels South with its 22 tracks
also serve Brussels North with 12 tracks only, and Brussels Central with
6 tracks only, the only notable exception being the TGVs and the E* that
terminate at South. This is more comparable with the stations of Bern, Olten
& Winterthur cited by K. Zurich I agree is another matter.

The big difference between South and the other two is that at South, many
trains terminate, while at Central and North, it's only through transit. With
some dwell time at North and not at all on Central. Trains that terminate on
the North side of Brussels do that at Schaerbeek.

Getting 1000+ trains daily over the 6 tracks at Central must be at least
close to a world record.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 12:44 PM   #336
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Schiphol comes close with 700 trains per day at least with 6 tracks in the station and 4 in the tunnel.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #337
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Well most of the 1000+ trains that serve Brussels South with its 22 tracks
also serve Brussels North with 12 tracks only, and Brussels Central with
6 tracks only, the only notable exception being the TGVs and the E* that
terminate at South.
It does however show that the bottleneck is Brussel Centraal, not Zuid. It was a big mistake to build that with only 6 tracks. It should have had 12, just like Noord.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 04:53 PM   #338
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A tunnel with 12 tracks? I think they should be happy that the citytunnel was build with 6 tracks. In a lot of countries nymbism would shouwld these kinds of plans and say we ant 2 tracks maximum, but we prefer none.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 04:53 PM   #339
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It does however show that the bottleneck is Brussel Centraal, not Zuid. It was a big mistake to build that with only 6 tracks. It should have had 12, just like Noord.
Built in the 50ies, with an envisoned trafic of about 400 trains per day.
I don't think we can say it was a mistake. It can now handle more than
twice the original requirements. Who could plan a transport infrastructure
for more than 50 years ahead today ?

And yes Bruxelles Central (90% of Brussels' inhabitants speak french, btw) is
a bottleneck today as a through traffic station, but Bruxelles Midi as a
terminating and long distance traffic station is too. Only Bruxelles Nord is fine
today. But if trains have to terminate there too, because of the saturation
of the North-South link, then Bruxelles Nord will also become a bottleneck.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #340
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Bruxelles Central (90% of Brussels' inhabitants speak french, btw)
Please, don't encourage people to start yet another completely pointless language discussion here. It would ruin an interesting topic. Both Brussel and Bruxelles are official names of the city, so both should be fine for everybody. And seeing we're talking in English here, Brussels should obviously not upset anyone either.

The North station will probably never be used as a terminus station (seeing we've got Schaarbeek for such connections), so that problem should never arise. It is true that in the 50's, the engineers were smart enough to look ahead far enough and to foresee the possible growth of passengers. You can see the foresight as well in the metro tunnels made in Antwerp and Charleroi. One could say they went a bit overboard there, but some of those tunnels are starting to become useful now.

The North-South connection scarred Brussels gravely as it split the city in two for quite some time when it was being built, resulting in a trauma that a part of the population still hasn't gotten over. Therefore talking about new tunnels brings up the memories from back then in some people. I think that the two parallel tracks to the east and west should be used more and as such alleviate some stress from the tunnel. But whether that'll be enough to stop the need for an additional tunnel, I do not know.
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