Belgian infrastructure manager Infrabel opened a new shunting station at the port of Zeebrugge on Monday. The project, described by various stakeholders as “the largest in the history of the port”, lasted 12 years and cost €133 million. More than 18 kilometers of new tracks have been laid. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailTech.


The new maneuvering station of the port of Zeebrugge consists of two large track bundles: the Zwankendamme departure and arrival hub and the Zeebrugge maneuvering cluster. The infrastructure of Zwankendamme has already been upgraded and was completed at the end of 2018. Now, the Zeebrugge shunting bundle has also been given the finishing touches.

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For the entire overhaul, 45 turnouts, 27,500 new sleepers, 16 km of overhead lines and 60 km of cables were installed. There are now 18 tracks in total. The Zeebrugge marshalling yard has eight tracks, four of which have a contact network. Three tracks in a bundle are long tracks that can accommodate trains up to 750 meters long.

The Zwankendamme junction consists of ten electrified tracks, four of which are long. In addition to these tracks, there is a separate link of 4 tracks where Infrabel customers can temporarily park their locomotives. In the past, locomotives were parked at the shunting station, resulting in a loss of capacity.

Both track bundles are now located behind each other, while they used to be on the other side of the main Bruges-Zeebrugge track. Now that trains have to cross this line much less often, more capacity will become available and freight trains will have to make fewer shunting movements.

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