More electrified railway lines for southern yard in Port of Antwerp-Bruges
A great deal of railway tracks in the southern emplacement of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges has been electrified. Ten tracks in what is known as the ‘Bundle South’ have been equipped with overhead lines. This means a leap forward in the modernisation of the port infrastructure.
Bundle South is one of the most important bundles of tracks in the port area and it is also the only bundle with overhead lines in the Waaslandhaven. This port area, on the left bank of the Scheldt, is electrified to a limited extent. In fact, bundle south is the only yard with overhead lines, which counted ten so far. With the latest addition, there are now 20 electrified tracks, of the total of 32 railway lines.
“With financial support from the federal government and European subsidies, Infrabel invested almost 3 million euros in extra overhead lines and a small track expansion that is planned for next year”, the infrastructure manager said. “The works started in fall last year and were completed this month.
“This will provide additional capacity for electric locomotives, a high demand from industry and rail operators. Bundle South often handles electric freight trains that travel long distances between the port and the hinterland”, Infrabel explains.
“Because there are now 20 tracks with full-length overhead wires, this infrastructure is also more easily accessible from both sides of the bundle, reducing the need for time-consuming procedures in the logistics chain when handling freight trains. This investment in electrification therefore provides more efficiency, flexibility and lower costs, which in turn makes the transport of goods by rail more attractive.”
Bundle South is a so-called departure and arrival yard where freight trains are put together according to their destination. It is comparable to the large Antwerp North marshalling station on the right bank, but smaller. Yet it is one of the most used rail infrastructures in the port.
Last year, almost 20,000 trains were handled at the yard, representing 4.9 million tonnes of goods. The bundle of tracks is strategically located on the left bank, not far from the Deurganckdok, in a place where many large companies from the chemical and steel industry are active and where several large container terminals operate. Moreover, this place is a future growth pole in terms of employment.