Belgium - Tram services over obscure routes

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Some tram systems advertise their depot workings and enable one to ascertain the regular use by passenger-carrying services of junctions or sections of line that do not otherwise see public service. This occasional series lists such services that have come to notice. While the data for each system is current at the date stated, it is not the intention to endeavour to keep every entry up to date at every service change - the listing serves as a guide for travellers as to the sort of services they can look out for, enabling them to check current published timetable material at their time of travel.

To assist in tracing services, the route and/or timetable number for each journey is shown in parentheses, e.g. (1). Days of operation are in English notation (respectively: Su, M, T, W, Th, F, S) - plus "O" for only, "X" for excepted. Su (Sundays) usually includes public holidays in mainland Europe - but check locally.

Listings for other systems throughout the world - in the same format as shown below (please include date of timetable validity) - will always be welcomed.

Bruxelles / Brussel: STIB / MIVB

Advertised journeys in timetable dated 30 October 2006 with updates found on travels in November 2022. Network map as at 30 May 2022 which is more up to date on long term closures than one dated November 2022!

Wiels East to North curve

  • In use by route 97 from 26 September 2022 until 2024 on a STIB webnote Note a traveller advises ONLY trams towards Wiels use this curve to reach the stop north of the junction to terminate, those starting from here travel the curve out of service from their turning point to pick up after the triangle junction.


  • As at November 2022 route 9 terminates underground at Simonis using a short spur at a right angle to passing route 19. This is not obvious from some maps but is here

Globe East to South curve

  • long term engineering work until 4 November 2022 resulted in route 51 to/from Van Haelen running via r 4 south of Albert to regain its normal line of route via this curve

South-east curve at Buyl

  • From Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek to Boondael/Boondaal (route 24): all SSuX: 07:14, 07:26, 07:40, 07:53, 08:03, 08:17, 16:05 (also 08:31 from Pr.Elisabeth)
  • From Boondael/Boondaal to Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek (route 24): all SSuX: 15:21, 15:50, 16:18, 16:48

North-east curve at Pr.Elisabeth

  • From Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek to Buyl or Boondael/Boondaal (route 24): all SSuX: 07:14, 07:26, 07:40, 07:53, 08:03, 08:17, 16:05, 16:34, 17:02, 17:31
  • From Boondael/Boondaal to Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek (route 24): all SSuX: 15:21, 15:50, 16:18, 16:48
  • From Buyl to Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek (route 24): all SSuX: 06:46, 06:56, 07:08, 07:20, 07:29, 07:42

Although various depot workings use lines and curves not in public service, none is advertised in the current timetables. Note, however:

  • route 82 - of which the section between Gare de l'Ouest / Weststation and Porte de Ninove / Ninoofsepoort is not duplicated by other routes - runs only Mondays to Fridays (not evenings)
  • between Gare du Midi / Zuidstation and Bara route 56 (both directions) and 83 (towards Midi/Zuid) use the surface level route but only route 83 (from Midi/Zuid) uses the sub-surface route and the ramp at Bara.

Charleroi: TEC

As at October 2022 no unusual workings were identified in the on line timetables accessed by entering route "Mx" here, then clicking on "and off you go" and scrolling down the page to download that lines PDF timetable.

Note that from 1 July 2021 to some-time in 2023, due to long term engineering works there is no service between Villette via Charleroi Sud SNCB to a temporary stop named Gare Terme A [before stop Tirou]. Route M1 is suspended so there is no service using the south to west curve between Ouest and Piges, nor on parts of the Waterloo loop line as explained below:-

Waterloo alternative routes via loop line

Normally route M4 from the eastern suburb of Soleilmont travels one way around Charleroi via the SNCB station on an anti-clockwise loop. As there is no south to east curve avoiding Waterloo station, outbound Metro's to Soleilmont call at Waterloo heading west, then travel three sides of a double track loop via an east to north, south to east and west to east curves to line of route, with only inbound services travelling north to south on the fourth side. However, during the above 2021-2023 closure the M4 only runs to/from Villette, and as all journeys towards Soleilmont call at Waterloo, the south to north side is used in both directions and the other three sides have no scheduled service. This can be understood better from the Gleisplan website track plan.

Gent/Gint: De Lijn

From BLNI May 2019 Report

  • Depot workings off route 4 run via route 1 from St. Pieters. This involves a complete circuit of Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein and calls at both stops 20 and 18 - only served by these journeys. They also use the rare south to east curve at Korenmarkt.

See also