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Ann Billiau - Articles and news items

Real-Time Passenger Information (RTPI) supplement

Issue 3 2013, Supplements / 27 May 2013 /

Infrabel: accurate and innovative travel information (Ann Billiau, Director-General for Rail Access, Infrabel)
Real-time Passenger Information – a fundamental requirement (Fiona Dolman, Director of Operational Services, Network Rail)
Social media: help us to get home (Guy Dangerfield, Rail Passenger Manager, Passenger Focus)

Infrabel invests progressively in the port of Zeebrugge

Issue 1 2013 / 20 February 2013 /

Infrabel continuously works on increasing rail capacity to, from and in the port of Zeebrugge. At the end of 2012, the Belgian rail infrastructure manager made available a new rail infrastructure to its customers.

Sea-rail strategy between natural allies

In accordance with its strategy, Infrabel is working on a step-by-step capacity expansion in specific areas of the network where it is needed. This includes the port of Zeebrugge, which is the second largest port in Belgium after the port of Antwerp. During the first stage (2007-2010), Infrabel expanded and modernised the rail infrastructure at a number of strategic rail yards in the port of Zeebrugge. However, in order to optimise the manage – ment of the expected rise in goods transport, additional investment in and around the port of Zeebrugge is required. Infrabel is therefore creating new rail connections in the port itself and is also optimising access to and from Zeebrugge to benefit its customers. Water (port) and rail are natural allies and are closely connected to each other.

The Ter Doest Curve: A strategic link between east and west

Since 5 November 2012, the Ter Doest Curve (at a cost of €9 million) has provided a direct 1.7km link between the rail systems of the eastern and western areas of the port. This new single-track link provides more capacity and flexibility for the strategic rail link between Bruges and Zeebrugge. If growth were to continue, there is already a track bed for the construction of a second track.

The Ter Doest Curve also prevents unnecessary train movements: Trains no longer have to go to Bruges and back in order to reach the other area of the port. This also frees up more capacity for passenger travel on the line between Bruges and the Belgian coast.

The Ter Doest Curve mainly runs through a natural landscape, which is why Infrabel ensured the revitalisation of the natural landscape around Monnikenwerve. As part of its sustaina – bility policy, Infrabel restored the piece of land to its original state in order to allow the local natural habitat to redevelop.

New rail link between the Pelikaan and Ramskapelle yards Infrabel also built a new rail link between the Pelikaan and Ramskapelle rail yards (costing €3 million). Since 9 December 2012, quicker marshalling of the trucks has made it easier to put together goods trains without having to use the passenger track on the Dudzele and Knokke branch line. In a previous stage, Infrabel already modern – ised and expanded the Ramskapelle yard1 (2007) and the Pelikaan yard1 (2009) by providing more and longer tracks. This also made goods transport to and from the outport more fluent.

Other rail infrastructure in operation Since 2 December 2012, trains going from the Belgian coast to Bruges can also use the renovated Waggelwater Bridge (which cost €10 million). This new rail bridge crosses the canal between Bruges and Ostend and replaces the old railroad bridge. The new bridge currently has two one-track guideway beams, pending the construction of a third track between Bruges and the Dudzele yard.

At the end of 2011, Infrabel, G&V Energy Group and the port of Zeebrugge opened the first public filling station for diesel trains (at a cost of €1.5 million) near the Ramskapelle yard. As part of its customer-oriented service, Infrabel also created certain rail links (approxi – mately €0.5 million) for various companies, including the Wielingen yard (2010) in the outport. The Voorhaven-West yard (€5 million) had already been expanded and renovated in 2007.

Level Crossing Safety supplement 2012 (free to view)

Issue 4 2012, Supplements / 30 July 2012 /

Infrabel progressively increases safety at level crossings (Ann Billiau, Director-General, Rail Access, Infrabel)
Portugal raises the tempo of level crossing safety initiatives (Paulo Soares de Melo, Director of Level Crossings, REFER)
Level crossing misuse – not a traditional policing solution (Miles Flood, Chief Superintendent Territorial Policing, British Transport Police)