From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere

The HSL 2 is a Belgian high-speed rail line between Leuven and Ans. 95 km long (61 km dedicated high-speed tracks, 34 km modernised lines) it began service on 15 December 2002.

When its extension to the German border is completed (the HSL 3), the combined eastward high speed line will greatly accelerate journeys between Brussels, Paris and Germany. HSL 2 is currently used by Thalys and ICE trains as well as fast internal InterCity services.


From Brussels-Midi, trains travel northwards through Central and North stations. At Schaarbeek the line splits in two; the northern branch continues to Antwerp and the Dutch border, the eastern branch to Liège and the German border. Between Schaarbeek and Leuven the existing line has been upgraded to four tracks; the two central tracks are reserved for 200 km/h Thalys and InterCity service, the two outer tracks for slower local trains.

At Leuven, the line passes through the existing station at 160 km/h and a short tunnel before running at 300 km/h alongside the E40 Brussels-Liège motorway. This 60 km section of line is also used by 200 km/h domestic InterCity services that were formerly confined to the Liège-Brussels regular line.

A maintenance base for the line is situated at Ans. From Bierset to Liege, the trains run on the modernised line at a speed varying between 100 and 130 km/h.

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High-speed rail
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High-speed lines: Beijing-TianjinCTRL (London-Channel Tunnel)Cologne-AachenCologne-Frankfurt
French LGV linesHanover-WürzburgNortheast Corridor (Boston-Washington DC)Nuremberg-IngolstadtHSL 1 (Brussels-Paris)
HSL 2 (Leuven-Ans)HSL 3 (Liège-Aachen)HSL 4 (Brussels-Netherlands)HSL-Zuid (Netherlands)
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