Bring back some good or bad memories


May 15, 2019

Vintage Trains and Trams in Belgium: A Look Back on the Belgian Traffic System in the 1970s

Belgium was among the first countries to build an extensive railway network. The country was heavily involved in the early development of railway transport. It was the second country in Europe, after Great Britain, to open a railway and produce locomotives. The first line, between the cities of Brussels and Mechelen opened in 1835.

Tram system of Belgium in the 1970s

In 1870, the total length was already exceeding 3100 km. In 1912 the length was increased till more than 5000 km. This will remain so till 1948.

Belgium was the first state in Europe to create a national railway network and the first to possess a nationalised railway system. The network expanded fast as Belgium industrialised, and by the early 20th century was increasingly under state-control. The nationalised railways, under the umbrella organisation National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB), retained their monopoly until liberalisation in the 2000s.

Currently, the length of the railway network is 3578 km of which 3000 km is electrified and less than 800 km is only single track.

These amazing photos were taken by Tim Boric that show what the tram system of Belgium looked like in the 1970s.

Antwerp. Franklin Rooseveltplaats, 1972

Antwerpen. A 1908 Vintage tram car on route 12 negotiating the curve from Van Wesenbekestraat to Gemeentestraa, 1973

Antwerpen. Groenplaats, 1973

Antwerpen. Koningin Astridplein, 1973

Antwerpen. Tram and car traffic under the "removable steel viaduct" that spoiled Rooseveltplaats for so many years, 1973

Brussels. A standard tram set at the terminus in Rue Henri Maus, next to the Bourse (Exchange), 1971

Brussels. At Bareel van Sint-Gillis and Barrière de Saint-Gilles. A star-shaped sort-of roundabout where six streets meet, 1971

Brussels. Place Emile Bockstael, 1971

Brussels. Tervurenlaan, 1977

Brussels. Triangles in Uccle, 1972

Chapelle-lez-Herlaimont. SNCV/NMVB-route 89 was in the 1970s a short-working of the 80 service from Charleroi, ending in Chapelle-lez-Herlaimont right in front of the local friture

Charleroi. Rue de l'Écluse, 1973

Charleroi. Rue des Preys with STIC tram on route 15, 1973

Charleroi. Tram terminus Charleroi Eden by night, circa 1975

Dampremy. A miner (or probably a steel worker) enjoys the winter sun as a vicinal tram passes his home in, 1973

Dampremy. Tram on street with the cokes factory in Marchienne-au-Pont in the background, 1973

Melle. Swinging the bow collector at the terminus of line 20 near Ghent, 1973

Roux. Under the watching eye of the tram driver, the conductor (still wearing the traditional dust coat) is setting the points to the right direction, 1975

Souvret. On a bleak and drizzly morning when the street lights stay on burning, circa 1975

Souvret. Rainy morning, circa 1975



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10