Ghent, Belgium

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Ghent tram no. 6207 at Korenmarkt on route 4. Photo by Theo Neutelings, August 2005.


Ghent, an historically and culturally significant trade center with early development in the 7th century and commercial status from the 11th and 12th centuries, can be easily reached from the Brussels Airport by a direct connection on Belgian Railways to Ghent through Brussels. An excellent brief history of Ghent is available online at www.trabel.com-Travel info on Belgium.

The tram network configuration has two (more-or-less) U-shaped lines (4 and 21/22) superimposed on a north/south line (1). These lines are arranged to provide a number of convenient transfer points between the various lines and thus serve a great variety of destinations. The tram lines are further augmented by an east-west trolleybus line (3) and many city and regional bus lines. For the transit-oriented tourist, please note the following:

In a number of parts of the city, two lines share the same tracks: 4 and 21/22 in two places - from Konigalbertlaan/Martelaarslaan all the way to Sint-Pieters-Station and for a short distance in the Woodrow-Wilsonplein area; 1 and 4 also in two places - from Korenmarkt north to Burgstraat and also briefly at Begijnhoflaan.

The carhouse (depot or stelplats) is located along Line 21/22 in Gentbrugge. Non-revenue trackage cuts across between the deport area and Line 4 at Ledebergplein.

There are numerous customer service and dispatch centers (Lijnwinkel), marked on system maps. Headways are generally short, even on Sundays.

Terminal loops are at Moscou (4) (adjacent to Belgian Railways ROW) and in front of the Sint-Pieters-Station (4). A loop is planned for Flanders Expo.

A tram tunnel under the Belgian Railways ROW and Sint-Pieters-Station offers weather-protected transfers and access to the Sint-Pieters-Station (the tunnel is served by lines 1 and 21/22 - the loop for line 4 in front of the station can be reached through the station).

Line 1 separates into single track sections in the narrow shopping district streets south of the Korenmarkt (Veldstraat southbound and Korte Meer/St. Niklaasstraat northbound). There are a few other brief track separations.

Basic tickets cost €1.00 and are valid for 1 hour and must be validated in the car. A day pass (Dagpas) costs €3.00 and can be purchased on the car. There is an interesting system of validating discounted multi-ride passes (to deduct portion of pass used) with validation units in the cars. Most of the system is in the "Stadszone," but Evergem on Line 1 is in the "Voorstadszone." While most trackage is street-running, there are interesting PROW cut-throughs and segments, especially on Line 1 toward Wondelgem and Evergem.

The track arrangement at Muidebrug (Line 4) is interesting - there is a complete loop in the streets around two city blocks (two blocks along Sassekaai, two blocks on Vormuide, and one block in Muidelaan) including a 3-track segment in Vormuide with a pocket track in the street. Another pocket track: Wondelgem Industrieweg (Line 1). There is a non-revenue connection between 21/22 eastbound and 1 southbound at Koophandelsplein (Veldstraat at Zonnestraat). There is a pair of pocket tracks immediately south of the Tram Tunnel at the Sint-Pieters-Station where lines 1 and 21/22 diverge (terminus for line 1 until September 2004). Tram signals are evident at many locations.

The line numbering system has obviously been reorganized as many maps on platforms and in cars still show an older two-digit numbering for short runs on lines 1 and 4 (such as Line 12 for the rush-hour Line 1 service on Langesteenstraat; other variants seen on maps: 10, 11, 13 for line 1; 40, 41, 42 for line 4).

In November 2004 no electric trolleybuses served Line 3; new and/or restored trolleybuses are expected to return to service in 2005. Trolleybus line 3 replaced a tram line 3 that operated into the 1980s. Line 3 serves the Korenmarkt area in the central part of the city.

Equipment on the tram lines is a mix of newer articulated units and older single cars.

All city and regional Ghent (Gent) transit lines are operated by DeLijn, which also operates lines in Antwerp and elsewhere. Ghent has three (if you consider 21/22 one line) tram lines and one trolleybus line:

Line Terminal Terminal Intermediate or Short Run Terminal(s) Type of Line
1 Evergem Maalte (Flanders Expo) Wondelgem, Sint-Pieters-Station, Korenmarkt, Gent Rabot, Langesteenstraat (Rush hours only) Tram
21 Zwijnaardebrug Melle Leuw Gentbrugge Stelplats, Gent St.-Pieters-Station Tram
22 Zwijnaardebrug DC Gentbrugge (DC=Dienstencentrum) Gentbrugge Stelplats Tram
3 Gentbrugge Meersemdries Mariakerke Post   Trolleybus
4 Gent Sint-Pieters Gentbrugge Moscou Muide (Muidebrug), Gent Korenmarkt, Gent Zuid, Gent Rabot Tram

Route Map


Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 10586

(128k, 820x619)
Photo by: Theo Neutelings
Location: Korenmarkt

Image 10607

(123k, 820x557)
Photo by: Theo Neutelings
Location: Nederkouter at Ketelbrug

Image 55523

(219k, 1024x795)
Photo by: Herman R. Silbiger

Image 55528

(161k, 1024x795)
Photo by: Herman R. Silbiger

Image 100964

(149k, 1024x768)
Photo by: Jos Straathof
Location: Korenmarkt

More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-150 151-168

Page Credits

By Valerie Harvey.

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