Coast Tram (Belgium)

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Coast Tram route (interactive map)
Belgian Coast Tram
Knokke NMBS
Knokke Watertoren
Heist Duinbergen
Heist Heldenplein
Heist Dijk
Zeebrugge Zeesluis
Bridges over Zeebrugge waterway
Zeebrugge Kerk
Straussbrug
Zeebrugge Vaart
Zeebrugge Strandwijk
Keerlus Duinse polders
Blankenberge Duinse polders
Blankenberge Sealife-Floreal
Blankenberge Pier
Blankenberge station NMBS
Blankenberge Park
Keerlus Harendijke
Wenduine Harendijke
Wenduine Manitoba
Wenduine Centrum
Wenduine Molen
Wenduine Sunparks
Keerlus Zwarte Kiezel
De Haan Zwarte Kiezel
De Haan Zeepreventorium
De Haan Vosseslag
Bredene Renbaan
Bredene Campings
Bredene aan Zee
Oostende Duin en Zee
Oostende Weg op Vismijn
Bridges over lock to Vlotdok
Oostende station NMBS
Oostende Marie-Joseplein
Oostende Koninginnelaan
Keerdriehoek Sportstraat
Oostende Renbaan
Oostende Mediacenter
Oostende Mariakerke Bad
Oostende Ravelingen
Oostende Raversijde
Oostende Domein Raversijde
Middelkerke Degreefplein
Middelkerke Casino
Middelkerke Krokodiel
Middelkerke Harendijke
Westende-Lombardsijde Belle Vue
Westende-Lombardsijde Westende Bad
Westende-Lombardsijde St. Laureins
Westende-Lombardsijde Lombardsijde Bad
Westende-Lombardsijde Dorp
Westende-Lombardsijde YMCA
Nieuwpoort Nieuwpoort Stad
Nieuwpoort Cardijnlaan
Nieuwpoort Ysermonde
Nieuwpoort Nieuwpoort Bad
Nieuwpoort Kerk
Keerdriehoek Zonnebloem
Nieuwpoort Zonnebloem
Oostduinkerke Groenendijk Bad
Oostduinkerke Duinpark
Oostduinkerke Oostduinkerke Bad
Oostduinkerke Schipgat
Koksijde Lejeunelaan
Koksijde Koksijde Bad
Koksijde Ster aan Zee
Koksijde St. Idesbald
De Panne Golfstraat
De Panne Centrum
De Panne Esplanade
Keerdriehoek DP terminus
De Panne Kerk
De Panne Moeder Lambic
De Panne Plopsaland
Keerlus Adinkerke
Adinkerke depot
Adinkerke NMBS

The Coast Tram (Dutch: Kusttram) is a public transport service connecting the cities and towns along the entire Belgian (West Flanders) coast, between De Panne near the French border and Knokke-Heist. At 68 km (42 miles) in length, it is the longest tram line in the world,[1] as well as one of the few interurban tramways in the world to remain in operation. The line is built at 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge and fully electrified at 600 V DC.

History[edit]

The first section of the track between Oostende and Nieuwpoort was brought into service in 1885, although the original route was further inland than the modern one and only short sections in Oostende and Nieuwpoort centres are still in operation. On its creation, the line was managed by the NMVB (National Neighbourhood Railway Company). In 1991, the NMVB/SNCV was broken into two regional companies, one Walloon and the other Flemish, with the Flemish successor company, Vlaamse Vervoermaatschappij De Lijn taking responsibility for operation of the coastal tram.

Characteristics[edit]

The Belgian Coast Tram near Ostend

The service makes 70 stops along the 68 km long line, with a tram running every ten minutes during the peak summer months (every 20 mins in the winter months), during which it is used by over 3 million passengers. The service has recently been made more accessible through the addition of low-floor centre sections to existing vehicles, and the introduction of a few new HermeLijn low-floor trams.

While most of the older trams are unidirectional, and thus have to be turned on a loop in order to reverse direction, the newer ones are bi-directional, with driving positions and doors on both end/sides.

An interesting feature is the two alternative routes that exist around either end of the Leopoldkanaal locks just east of Zeebrugge, and the similar single track diversion around the inland end of the Boudewijnkanaal lock. This avoids delays to the tram schedule when the road bridge that the tram line normally follows is raised for boats passing under it. A similar feature exists at the southern end of Ostend station around the lock entrance to the Vlotdok.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Facts & Figures". Yarra Trams. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°15′54″N 3°00′20″E / 51.26495°N 3.00544°E / 51.26495; 3.00544