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Tramways & Urban Transit
23 Jul 2024 
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You Are Here: Main Section - Books - Other LRTA Books - Belgium Underground
Belgium Underground
Pre-Metro and Metro, 1957 - 2017
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Belgium Underground
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Geoffrey Skelsey and Yves Laurent Hansart 2019

After the Second World War the tramway subway became a favoured mode amongst advocates of tramway development, and the early example at Midi station in Brussels paved the way for many later installations. Later came the concept of the premetro, underground railways initially operated by conventional trams but capable of eventual conversion to heavy Metro. This process was pioneered in Belgium, and (in theory) in West Germany, although only in Brussels has the full evolution been followed through.

Drawing on their own experience, and on contemporary documents and accounts, the authors explore in detail, with many new illustrations and maps, the emergence of the premetro in three Belgian cities and of a Metro in Brussels itself. This is set against the background of widespread political and structural change in Belgium. Sixty years after the first tram subways opened further conversions are now planned in Brussels, but in Antwerp the original tram-operated concept still prevails, and is at present being expanded. This is an important addition to the literature on transport development in Europe, and will appeal both to those who have visited the Belgian cities and to students of urban transport practice.

Authors Geoffrey Skelsey and Yves-Laurent Hansart met over twenty years ago, and have since co-operated closely on the study and documentation of Brussels transport in four books and many journal articles. Geoffrey Skelsey first visited Brussels as a schoolboy in 1959, and fell in love with the then nearly complete tramway, as well as the distinctive character of the city itself which became for some years almost his second home. YvesLaurent Hansart was born and educated ‘within the city walls’ of Brussels and his interest in trams was fostered by their passage outside his childhood home, and on his daily journeys to school.

Published by the LRTA – A4 softback; 128 pages Fully illustrated colour and black and white 34 maps.
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