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Brussels approves two new northern routes

Proposals for two new tram routes to link the centre of the Belgian capital of Brussels with developing suburbs in the north of the city have been approved by the regional government.

Proposals for two new tram routes to link the centre of the Belgian capital of Brussels with developing suburbs in the north of the city were approved by the regional government on 14 December.

The first takes the form of a 2.5km (1.55-mile) link between Rogier tramstop and Belgica station on metro line 6 on the boundary of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek
and Jette. This project fulfils a long-held ambition of providing tram service to the former industrial area of Thurn & Taxis just to the north of the centre that has seen major redevelopment as a major cultural and business hub in recent years. The area also houses numerous government offices.

A second route to Neder-over-Heembeek will link the Gare du Nord and existing routes 3 and 7 at Van Praet, from where it will continue over the Vuurkruisenlaan and Oorlogkruislaan to the Queen Astrid Military Hospital.

Firm plans are to be developed in the next couple of years for a planned opening in 2024-25.

The main event to mark 150 years of tram service in the city will be held on 1 May on the tracks between Legrand and Ste-Marie (Ave de la Régence and rue Royale). There will be a parade of 37 trams and public rides on 16 of them. Metre-gauge Vicinal trams will be on display in Parc de Bruxelles, together with a mock-up of the new tram design.

On 4 May the European Championship for tram drivers will be held in rue Royale.