Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 9h01
It was a shambles on the Belgian rail network since 6:30 this morning, following a fire station in Brussels North, which has created total paralysis for nearly 1:30 in the capital.
The Brussels lines and passing through Brussels undergo significant disturbances, especially on the side of Mons, Charleroi, Namur and Liège.
According to our information, the disturbances will continue throughout the day, until the rush hour tonight.
The circulation of trains has gradually resumed since 7:50. Almost all the tracks between North and Midi were again in service around 10 am, as well as all the tracks passing through Brussels-North. Two lanes were still out of service around 1 pm: one to Schaerbeek and the other to Schuman, said Frédéric Petit, Infrabel spokesperson.
Fire of electric boxes :
At around 6:15 am on Tuesday morning, smoke was seen along lane 12 at Gare du Nord. « It soon became apparent that the electric boxes, which are the white boxes along the tracks, were on fire, » explains Arnaud Reymann, spokesperson for Infrabel, the network manager.
« The consequences are quite serious: these electrical boxes have put all the safety system to a standstill, so that no more trains can enter or leave Brussels, » said Arnaud Reymann, who recalled that the interruption has repercussions on the entire network. Police and firefighters quickly arrived, and three trains had to be evacuated, said the Brussels prosecutor’s office.
According to the on-site teams of the railway infrastructure manager, a homeless person was at the origin of the fire which broke out around 6:28 am along a road in Brussels North and then led to the complete stoppage of traffic between North and Midi. This person wanted to make a small fire, in his shelter installed along the tracks (along the track 12, more precisely), and the flames spread to electric cables and then to the housings. Fortunately, the person was not in his shelter when it burned.
The Brussels public prosecutor is investigating the accident, and can not yet confirm the hypothesis of the homeless. They are looking for clues and traces on the spot but without being able to give for the moment of precise indications on the origin of the fire or any responsibilities, indicates the spokesman Denis Goeman.
Many morning trains deleted or limited
This Tuesday morning, the trains could no longer circulate on this junction following a power failure following a start of fire at the Gare du Nord in Brussels. Remember that one train in three in Belgium passes by the junction Nord-Midi, real railway node of the country.
The consequences are very important for several lines, with many train deletions or limitation to peripheral stations at the North-South junction.
Trains from Liège were limited to Leuven.
From Namur, only one train per hour reached the Brussels-Schuman and Brussels-Luxembourg stations. All morning peak trains were removed, some IC trains were limited to Ottignies.
Trains departing from Charleroi did not leave or stop at Nivelles.