Coast Tram (Belgium)

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Coast Tram
Kusttram
De Lijn Vicinal Tramways
Coast Tram route (interactive map)
Map of the route
Operation
Locale Belgian coastal towns from Knokke-Heist to de Panne.
Open 1885
Status In Service
Owner(s) De Lijn
Infrastructure
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
Electrification 600V DC
Depot(s) Adinkerke, De Panne, Nieuwpoortsesteenweg, Oostende, Knokke-Heist
Stock HermeLijn
Statistics
Route length 68 km (42.25 mi)
Website De Kusttram
Belgian Coast Tram
Knokke Station
Duinbergen Watertoren
Duinbergen
Heist Heldenplein
Heist Dijk
Zeebrugge Zeesluis
Bridges over Pierre Vandamme lock
Zeebrugge Kerk
Bridges over Visart lock
Zeebrugge Vaart
Zeebrugge Strandwijk
Keerlus Duinse Polders
Blankenberge Duinse Polders
Blankenberge Sealife-Floreal
Blankenberge Pier
Blankenberge Station
Blankenberge Markt
Keerdriehoek Harendijke
Wenduine Harendijke
Wenduine Manitoba
Wenduine Centrum
Wenduine Molen
Wenduine Konijnenpad
Keerlus Zwarte Kiezel
De Haan Zwarte Kiezel
De Haan Waterkasteellaan
De Haan aan Zee
De Haan Preventorium
De Haan Vosseslag
Bredene Renbaan
Bredene Campings
Bredene aan Zee
Oostende Duin en Zee
Oostende Weg naar Vismijn
Bridges over lock to Vlotdok
Oostende Station
Oostende Marie-Joséplein
Oostende Koninginnelaan
Keerdriehoek Sportstraat
Oostende Renbaan
Oostende Northlaan
Mariakerke Bad
Oostende Ravelingen
Oostende Raversijde
Raversijde Domein Raversijde
Middelkerke De Greefplein
Middelkerke Casino
Middelkerke Verhaeghelaan
Middelkerke Krokodiel
Westende Belle Vue
Westende Bad
Westende Sint-Laureins
Lombardsijde Bad
Lombardsijde Dorp
Lombardsijde YMCA
Nieuwpoort Stad
Nieuwpoort Cardijnlaan
Nieuwpoort Ysermonde
Nieuwpoort Bad
Nieuwpoort Zonnebloem
Keerdriehoek Zonnebloem
Oostduinkerke Groenendijk Bad
Oostduinkerke Duinpark
Oostduinkerke Bad
Oostduinkerke Schipgat
Koksijde Lejeunelaan
Koksijde Bad
Koksijde Ster der Zee
Koksijde Sint-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
De Panne Station

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 line between Oostende and Nieuwpoort was opened in 1885, although the original route was further inland than the modern one and only short sections of the original section in Oostende and Nieuwpoort centres are still in operation. On its creation, the line was managed by the NMVB (Nationale Maatschappij van Buurtspoorwegen), that operated an interurban tram system throughout Belgium. 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 69 stops along the 68 km line, with a tram running every 10 min during the peak summer months (every 20 min in the winter months), and it is used by over 3 million passengers. The service has recently been made more accessible by new low-floor centre sections to existing vehicles and a few new HermeLijn low-floor trams.

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

An interesting feature is the two alternative routes that exist around both ends of the Leopoldkanaal locks, just east of Zeebrugge, and the similar single track diversion around the inland end of the Boudewijnkanaal lock. That avoids delays when the road bridge that the tram line normally follows is raised for boats passing under it. There is a similar feature 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