EQOS Energie assembles conductor rails for the expansion of the Brussels metro

1. September 2022
  • EQOS Energie makes a contribution to the change of the Pre-Metro Line 3 to the Metro 3
  • Comprehensive renovation and remodelling work on the 30 kilometres between the North and South station
  • Deployment of a specially expanded work train for the MIVB commission in the single-digit millions

30 kilometres of subterranean tracks and work for several years: This is the comprehensive task EQOS Energie will work on in the Belgian capital of Brussels. The work represents part of the large “Noord-Zuid” project for traffic operator MIVB, which includes both the remodelling and reconstruction of the tracks, the catenary line and the associated technology. The goal is to render the current tramway section fit for a modern underground train system. The construction section runs from the North to the South station, thereby traversing underneath the entire capital.

With new catenary lines from Pre-Metro to the Metro 3 line

The “Metro 3” project of MIVB is one of the largest traffic projects in the Belgian capital: In the future, Line 3 is to be served by underground trains in order to better connect the northern and southern part of Brussels. Currently, this part is served by a tramway line – the so-called Pre-Metro Line 3. The new Metro Line 3 is to create a direct connection between the northern and southern part of the city in just 20 minutes. To this end, EQOS Energie will disassemble 20 kilometres of existing catenary lines. Subsequently, a third conductor rail will be installed on the tracks in collaboration with the track construction company. For a higher train frequency, the remaining ten kilometres of the project will also be extensively remodelled and converted from catenary wire to conductor rail.

A tight situation requires comprehensive know-how

“Since this is continuous tunnel work, good preparation and the highest precision on our part are indispensable,” said Carsten Kuhle, the responsible managing director for railway technologyat EQOS Energie. “Therefore, we operate with a special work train that is being expanded and adjusted to the local circumstances specifically for this deployment.” It was this as well as the extensive technical expertise of the Belgian railway technology team that ultimately tipped the scales in favour of awarding the contract to EQOS Energie. But the company also scores in terms of flexibility: “Depending on the current construction stage and requirements, we can deploy anywhere from three to 18 experienced linemen. During the execution of the various stages, we closely coordinate with our client’s timing,” said Arne Samijn, head of the Catenary Belgium profit center in the Railway Technology division at EQOS Energie.

This project will also bring more quality of life for the citizens of Brussels. The conversion of the Pre-Metro Line to the Metro Line will be accompanied by above-ground work to enhance the southern neighbourhood in the long term. At the same time, the frequency and speed of the trains can be increased, which means mobility for a significantly larger number of people in Brussels.

Graphic: MIVB

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