Liège-Guillemins railway station

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Liège-Guillemins
SNCB logo.svg Railway Station
View on liege-Guillemins station.jpg
Station statistics
Address Place des Guillemins, Liège
Coordinates 50°37′29″N 5°34′01″E / 50.62472°N 5.56694°E / 50.62472; 5.56694Coordinates: 50°37′29″N 5°34′01″E / 50.62472°N 5.56694°E / 50.62472; 5.56694
Line(s) 4, 34, 36, 37, 40, 43, 125
Platforms 5
Tracks 10
Other information
Opened 1842-05-01
2009-09-18
Rebuilt 2009-09-18
Owned by Infrabel
Operator National Railway Company of Belgium
Traffic
Passengers (2009) 6.26 millions
The station in the 1970s
The station in 1905
2013

Liège-Guillemins railway station (IATA: XHN) is the main station of the city of Liège, the fifth largest city in Belgium. It is one of the most important hubs in the country and is one of the 3 Belgian stations on the high-speed rail network. The station is used by 15,000[1] people every day which makes it the eleventh busiest station in Belgium and the third in Wallonia.

History[edit]

In 1838, only three years after the first continental railway, a line linking Brussels and Ans, in the northern suburbs of Liège, was opened. The first railway station of Liège-Guillemins was inaugurated in May 1842, linking the valley to the upper Ans station. In 1843, the first international railway connection was born, linking Liège to Aachen and Cologne.

The station was modernized and improved in 1882 and in 1905 for the World Fair in Liège. This Beaux-Arts station was replaced in 1958 by a modern International style (for that time) building that was used until June 2009, a few months before the opening of the new Calatrava-designed station. The second station was completely demolished to complete the remaining sections of the new station.

New station[edit]

The new station by the architect Santiago Calatrava was officially opened on 18 September 2009, with a show by Franco Dragone. It has 9 tracks and 5 platforms (three of 450 m and two of 350 m). All the tracks around the station have been modernized to allow high speed arrival and departure.

The new station is made of steel, glass and white concrete. It includes a monumental arch, 160 metres long and 32 metres high.

The building costs were €312 million.

Train services[edit]

Liège-Guillemins station is served by InterCity- and InterRegio trains, connecting Liège with all major Belgian cities, as well as several international destinations such as Aachen, Lille, and Maastricht. In addition to the national traffic, Liège-Guillemins station welcomes Thalys and ICE trains, connecting Liège to Brussels, Paris, Aachen, Cologne, and Frankfurt. Two new dedicated high-speed tracks were built: HSL 2 (Brussels-Liège) and HSL 3 (Liège-German border).

There are also plans for Eurostar and ICE to link Liège to London directly.[citation needed]

Preceding station   Thalys   Following station
toward Paris-Nord
Thalys
toward Essen Hbf
toward Paris-Nord
Thalys Terminus
Preceding station   Deutsche Bahn   Following station
ICE 79
Preceding station   SNCB / NMBS   Following station
toward Oostende
IC A
toward Eupen
IC D
toward Blankenberge and Knokke
IC E
On weekends and public holidays only
Terminus
toward Quievrain
IC F
IC M
toward Liers
IC O
Weekdays (Monday to Fridays) only
toward Visé
IR c Terminus
toward Liers
IR m
toward Luxembourg
Terminus IR q
toward Aachen Hbf

The national trains to Brussels also use the high speed track at 200 km/h, while the Thalys and ICE can go up to 300 km/h (bring Brussels at only 39' minutes from Liège).[2]

Road Connections[edit]

Liège-Guillemins is also a transportation hub for TEC Bus: more than 1,620 buses carrying 15,000 people serve the station everyday. It is one of the rare train stations in Europe directly connected to the highway network (E40-E25). The connection gives direct access to the large 850 spot parking structure behind the station.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (xls) SNCB Mobility. "Reizigerstellingen 2009" (in Dutch). 
  2. ^ "SNCB picture snapshot of travel time between Brussels North and Liège-Guillemins". Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  3. ^ "Liège Guillemins - P1 : Parking Gare". Retrieved 20 October 2012. 

External links[edit]