The HSL 4 (Dutch: Hoge SnelheidsLijn, lit. High Speed Line) is a Belgian high-speed rail line currently under construction which will connect Brussels to the Dutch border. 87 km long (40 km dedicated high speed tracks, 57 km modernised lines), it is scheduled for completion by 2007.
Together with the HSL 1 to the French border, the line will greatly accelerate journeys between Brussels, Paris and the Netherlands. HSL 4 will be used by Thalys trains as well as fast internal InterCity and High Speed Alliance (HSA) trains.
From Brussels-Midi station, trains travel northwards through Central and North stations. At Schaarbeek the line splits in two; the eastern branch continues to Liège and the German border, the northern branch towards Antwerp and the Dutch border. Between Brussels and Antwerp (47 km), trains travel at 160 km/h on the upgraded existing line (with the exception of a few segments where a speed limit of 120 km/h is imposed).
At Antwerp, a tunnel under the city is being constructed to permit high-speed trains to run directly through Antwerpen-Centraal station to the new high-speed line north of the city. Trains will enter the 1.5 km long, two-tube tunnel at 90 km/h.
The line returns to the surface at Antwerpen-Dam station, and after crossing the Albert canal, joins the existing Antwerp-Essen line. At the E19/A12 motorway junction, trains leave the regular line to run on new dedicated high-speed tracks to the Dutch border (40 km) at 300 km/h. The route parallels the E19 motorway until the border, which has required the building of several bridges.
Antwerpen-Centraal station is being completely reorganised. A tunnel is being constructed so as to permit the passage of trains under the city, additionally creating a subterranean junction between Antwerp-Central station and Antwerpen-Dam station. When the works are completed, the station will include four levels and 14 tracks:
- level +1 (the current station) will have 6 terminating tracks, arranged as two groups of three and separated bay and opening allowing views of the lower levels
- level 0 will contain ticketing facilities and commercial space
- level −1 (7 meters below road level) will have 4 terminating tracks, also arranged as two groups
- level −2 (18 meters below road level) will have 4 tracks, the two central tracks leading to the tunnel under the city (used by high-speed trains and fast internal InterCity services)
High-speed trains: Acela Express • Advanced Passenger Train • AVE • China Railway High-speed • Eurostar • InterCity 225 • InterCityExpress • JR-Maglev MLX01 • HST • HSR-350x • Korea Train Express • Magnetic levitation trains • Pendolino • Shinkansen • TGV • Thalys • Transrapid • Treno Alta Velocità • X2000
|High-speed lines: Beijing-Tianjin • CTRL (London-Channel Tunnel) • Cologne-Aachen • Cologne-Frankfurt |
French LGV lines • Hanover-Würzburg • Northeast Corridor (Boston-Washington DC) • Nuremberg-Ingolstadt • HSL 1 (Brussels-Paris)
HSL 2 (Leuven-Ans) • HSL 3 (Liège-Aachen) • HSL 4 (Brussels-Netherlands) • HSL-Zuid (Netherlands)
Japanese Shinkansen lines
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