Dinant - Athus electrified
On November 20 Belgian National Railways officially reopened the 130 km Dinant - Athus line to freight, after an eight-year programme of reconstruction and electrification. The line speed has been raised to 120 km/h, offering a 28min journey time saving for passenger trains worked by Class 41 DMUs.
The line forms part of the north-south 'eurocorridor' linking Antwerpen with Luxembourg and northern France. It has been timetabled to carry 35 freight trains a day from December 15, hauled by dual-system Class 13 Bo-Bos. By 2005 traffic is expected to increase to 80 trains a day, relieving the Namur - Marloie - Luxembourg main line.
The majority of the line has been electrified with 2 x 25 kV autotransformer feeding, with the changeover to 3 kV DC at Anseremme, just south of Dinant. The two substations at Houyet (40MW) and Bertrix (30MW) feed seven 10 MW autotransformers. At the eastern end, a 600m curve has been completed to connect Aubange with Rodange on the CFL network. SNCB's 10·5 km connection from Athus to Autelbas on the main line has also been electrified at 3 kV DC, bringing the total project cost to €235m.