Coast Tram (Belgium)

Coast Tram (Belgium)

Coast Tram (Belgium)

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The Coast Tram () is a public transport service connecting the cities and towns along the entire Belgian (West Flanders) coast, between De Panne near the French border and Knokke-Heist near the Dutch border. At in length, it is the longest tram line in the world, as well as one of the few interurban tramways in the world to remain in operation. The line is built at metre gauge and fully electrified at 600 V d.c..

History

The first section of the track between Oostende and Nieuwpoort was brought into service in 1885, although the original route was further inland than the modern one and only short sections in Oostende and Nieuwpoort centres are still in operation. On its creation, the line was managed by the NMVB (National Neighbourhood Railway Company), or SNCV in French. In 1991, the NMVB/SNCV was broken into two regional companies, one Walloon and the other Flemish, with the Flemish successor company, Vlaamse Vervoermaatschappij De Lijn taking responsibility for operation of the coastal tram.

Characteristics

The service makes 70 stops along the 68 km long line, with a tram running every ten minutes during the peak summer months, during which it is used by over 3 million passengers. The service has recently been made more accessible through the addition of low-floor centre sections to existing vehicles, and the introduction of a few new HermeLijn low-floor trams.

While most of the older trams are unidirectional, and thus have to be turned on a loop in order to...
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