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Railways in


The first public railway in Belgium, between Brussels and Mechelen, was opened on 5th May, 1835. Like many early Belgian railways, it was owned and operated by the State. A few lines were developed by private companies, but the last of these had been absorbed into the State system by 1948.

Besides the main line railways, there were also a number of minor railways and tramways (the “Vicinal”). De Kusttram, the coastal tramway through Ostend, is the principal survivor of this network.

Under EU regulations, train operation and infrastructure costs must be separately accountable. Belgium, like many other European countries, has chosen to implement this by spinning off a separate infrastructure company. SNCB/NMBS remains the major operator of domestic passenger trains, and owns a share of the international passenger operators Eurostar and Thalys.

A separate page deals with station names in Belgium.

National Railway Network

Metro, trams and interurban

Tourist and enthusiast railways


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Flag image from CIA World Factbook