TUC RAIL was put in charge of designing and supervising construction of the high speed rail network in Belgium. Its main responsibilities concerned feasibility studies, preliminary studies (including ground surveys), project and construction plans, detailed engineering studies, technical specifications, worksite inspection and supervision, analysis and comparison of bids, overall management of the project and final acceptance.
The high speed lines link Brussels, Antwerp and Liege to the main cities of neighboring countries (Paris, London, Cologne, Rotterdam and Amsterdam), thereby forming the first international high speed network in Europe. In Belgium, the high speed rail (HSR) network consists of 314 km of railroad, including 200 km of new track. The remainder is made up of tracks which have been modernized and adapted for high speed use. It is made up of three main branches: the Western, Eastern and Northern branches.
TUC RAIL designed and constructed the Western branch of the HSR network in Belgium between Brussels and the French border, a project which took less than five years to complete. The route includes 88 km of railroad, incorporating 71 km of new tracks and 17 km of modified tracks.
The branch between Brussels and the German border consists of 33 km of existing line between Brussels and Louvain, which was modernized, 62 km of new line between Louvain and Bierset and 54 km of new or renovated line between Bierset and the German border. The maximum speed on the new tracks is 320 km/h.
This branch, linking Brussels with the Dutch border, consists of 46 km of modernized and modified tracks between Brussels and Antwerp, 5 km of partially modernized/new lines in the city of Antwerp and 35 km of new high speed lines between Antwerp and the Dutch border.
Construction of the HSR network required the completion of a number of large infrastructural projects such as the Hal bridges, the Antoing viaduct, the Soumagne tunnel, the Herve, Battice and José viaducts, the tunnel under Antwerp station and the new stop at Noorderkempen.
Up to September 1998, TUC Rail’s activities were entirely related to the HSR project in Belgium. Today, the company also provides project management, technical studies and worksite management for all railroad infrastructure projects in Belgium and internationally.
Click here to view pictures of the high-speed rail network.