New trams on the way for Antwerp, Ghent and the coast

Summary

Flemish transport minister Hilde Crevits has announced an investment of €320 million for new trams in Antwerp, Ghent and the coast – the largest investment ever made by her ministry

Tram capacity will increase by 25%

Flanders’ transport minister Hilde Crevits announced a new plan to invest €320 million in a fleet of new trams for Antwerp, Ghent and the coast. The investment will increase the tram capacity on De Lijn routes by 25%. “This is the biggest order ever placed by the transport ministry,” Crevits said.

The government of Flanders plans to introduce low-floor trams, which allow passengers to enter without using steps, making them more accessible for all users. The new trams, due to come into operation in 2018, will also be equipped with screens providing travel information.

Antwerp will receive the biggest boost with an extra 66 trams added to the current stock of 155. Some of the city’s older trams will gradually be removed from service as the new rolling stock is installed. Ghent is to get 18 new trams under the plan. The city has 40 older trams, which will be gradually taken out of service.

Antwerp and Ghent are already due to get more trams later this year under a previous government order, with Ghent receiving 10 new trams, while Antwerp’s network will be boosted by 34 new models.

Crevits also announced plans this week to introduce 62 new trams to run along the 68-kilometre coastline. In addition, she is considering a plan to extend the tram line inland to Veurne, which would require a further five trams.