Belgian government-owned rail infrastructure company, Infrabel has announced it will invest to renew the existing railway infrastructure leading to the port of Zeebrugge.
The optimisation of the track changes in Dudzele will benefit the major Belgian port accessibility for railway cargo, according to an announcement.
Tom Hautekiet, CEO of the Port of Zeebrugge emphasised the importance that rail is a transport mode for the port and added, "Our coastal port provides numerous connections to the European hinterland. The optimisation of the railway towards the port is beneficial for our intermodal strategy in the future."
In 2019, 38,000 trains used the railway switch located in Dudzele, about 10km from the port. This crucial point is where railway line 51 divides into line 51A and 51B, separating rail freight traffic for the Port of Zeebrugge from passenger transport towards the Belgian Coast.
The most important part of the planned infrastructural works is the placement of five new track changes, which are over 100m long and they are custom made in Bascoup in Belgium.
The new track changes are mounted on a concrete cross beam and weigh 112 tonnes each and are placed in such a manner that allows a capacity increase.
"This is especially positive for the port of Zeebrugge and the future of intermodality at the port," said the Port of Zeebrugge in its announcement.