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Coast Tram

Coast Tram
Map of the route
Overview
Native nameKusttram
StatusIn Service
OwnerDe Lijn
LocaleBelgian coastal towns from Knokke-Heist to De Panne.
Websitehttps://www.dekusttram.be/en/ De Kusttram
Service
SystemDe Lijn, formerly National Company of Light Railways
Depot(s)Adinkerke, De Panne, Nieuwpoortsesteenweg, Ostend, Knokke-Heist
Rolling stock48 CAF Urbos "Zeelijner"
History
Opened1885; 139 years ago (1885)
Technical
Line length67 km (42 mi)
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge
ElectrificationOverhead line600 V DC
Route map

Knokke station
Duinbergen Watertoren
Duinbergen
Heist Heldenplein
Heist Dijk
Zeebrugge Zeesluis
Pierre Vandamme lock
Zeebrugge Kerk
Visart lock
Zeebrugge Vaart
Zeebrugge Strandwijk
Duinse Polders loop
Blankenberge Duinse Polders
Blankenberge Sealife-Floreal
Blankenberge Pier
Blankenberge station
Blankenberge Markt
Harendijke wye
Wenduine Harendijke
Wenduine Manitoba
Wenduine Centrum
Wenduine Molen
Wenduine Konijnenpad
Zwarte Kiezel loop
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
lock to Vlotdok
Oostende station
Oostende Marie-Joséplein
Oostende Koninginnelaan
Sportstraat wye
to Nieuwpoortse Steenweg depot
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 Zeelaan
Lombardsijde Schoolstraat
Nieuwpoort Stad
Nieuwpoort Cardijnlaan
Nieuwpoort Ysermonde
Nieuwpoort Bad
Nieuwpoort Zonnebloem
Zonnebloem wye
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
DP wye (terminus)
to De Panne depot (museum)
De Panne Kerk
De Panne Moeder Lambic
De Panne Plopsaland
Adinkerke loop
Adinkerke depot
De Panne station

The Coast Tram (Dutch: Kusttram) is a light rail public transport service connecting the cities and towns along the Belgian (West Flanders) coast between De Panne, near the French border, and Knokke-Heist, near the Dutch border. At 67 kilometres (42 mi) in length, it is currently (as of May 2024) the world's longest metre gauge tram line in service,[1] and the second-longest light rail service in the world after the A Line of the Los Angeles Metro Rail system,[2] as well as one of the few interurban tramways in the world to remain in operation. The line is fully electrified at 600 V DC.

History

What is now the coast line started out as part of the extensive Belgian Vicinal tramway, a network of interurban trams that once covered the entire nation. The first section of the coast line between Ostend and Nieuwpoort was opened in 1885. This original route was further inland than the modern one and only short parts of the original section in Ostend 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

A CAF Urbos "Zeelijner" unit at Domein Raversijde

The service makes 67[3] stops along the almost 67 km (42 mi) 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 15[4] million passengers per year. In 2021–22, 48 new CAF Urbos "Zeelijner" trams entered into service to replace all the older BN series 6000 (similar to the Métro Léger de Charleroi LRV fleet and to a lesser extent, the LRTA 1000 class of the Manila Light Rail Transit System yellow line, retired on 23 September 2023) and HermeLijn trams (the latter mainly loaned from Ghent and Antwerp in the summer from 2006–2022). They are completely low-floor and longer than the old trams.

All trams, except the loaner HermeLijn Ghent/Antwerp trams, are unidirectional and have to be turned on a loop in order to reverse direction.

Notable features are the sea-view between Ostend and Middelkerke, the tracks through the dunes at De Haan, the fast speed, the two alternative routes that exist around both ends of the Leopoldkanaal locks, and the similar single track diversion around the inland end of the Boudewijnkanaal lock.

The maximum speed is officially 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph). This speed is common between the villages.

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "Facts & Figures". Yarra Trams. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  2. ^ Morino, Douglas (2023-06-23). "L.A. Opens Its New Light-Rail Link". The New York Times. Retrieved 2023-07-26.
  3. ^ website "de lijn"
  4. ^ see: Kusttram on Wikipedia.

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

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Coast Tram
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