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Liege


Liege

Light rail subway, dead project, tram in planning

This site (now dead) claimed a 22.8 km light rail subway under construction. The Book Metros der Welt ((Transpress Verlag, 1992, in German) also reported a subway in Liege, showing a photo of a train on a test track and a tunnel station. Investigation indicates that in the late 80's, there was a premetro project in Liege that was underway. A tunnel was partially built. This is all we know for certain.
There is no evidence of either trams or subways on the Liege transport website.

In 2012, tenders were invited by Wallonia Regional Transport for a 12.5 km, 21 station tram line. Some think they are just a bunch of Walloons, while others believe the project will bring Liege it's first tram line.

TEC Liège-Verviers
Société de transport en commun
Rue du Bassin, 119
4030 LIEGE BELGIUM
Tél : + 32.4.361.91.11


Which scenario is most likely? Read below and decide for yourself when contemplating this Atlantis of Metros!
Photo courtesy Guy Demeulder

One person claims the tunnel section was part of a
test track in Jumet (see above photo), the start of a 16 km, 27 station north-south line from Licour/Herstal to Jemeppe using a VAL-like system known as the T.A.U.. The trains now reside in a transport museum in Natalis, patiently awaiting the day they may rise to the glory they were cheated of.


Other messages from the alt.misc.urban-transport newsgroup indicate a somewhat different scenario:

"There was going to be a subway in Liege, based on system similar to the VAL in Lille. But the project got scrapped. A few hundreds of meter of tunnel were built though, and subsequently never put to use..." - Krist

"One little known item of information is that there really is a tram inside the Liège tunnels, and it has been there for many years. The body of SNCV autorail AR.6 (series AR.5-10, Carel et Fouché/De Dion Bouton, 1929) is stored inside the tunnel at St-Léonard,awaiting restoration."

A third scenario also exists. According to the tram museum site, a premetro existed with a tunnel section, where rolling stock built in 1935 actually said "subway" on them. The line, which extended to Jemeppe closed in 1967. Then, when the TAU began testing in Jumet, near Hainault, a second the tunnel, complete with station, was built as part of the test track.

Finally, a fourth scenario. According to another individual, there was a project to build a metro in Liege. Some tracks were built in an industrial zone to test a brand new metro technology. A few tunnels were also been built under the city. Finally, the project was abandoned, and the metro tunnels were turned into road tunnels.

Did a subway exist, at least in part, in Liege? Likely so, as according to this Dutch light rail site, "...recently in the centre a new underground parking garage was opened, for which the construction work of the failed metro-project was partly used."

  • TEC Home Page
  • More about light rail in Liege (from French Passion of Urban Transport)
  • tram museum in Liege
  • Light Rail Atlas feature on a planned Liege mini-metro
  • Video of the old Liege metro tunnels

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