BESIX builds tunnel and bridges in Diepenbeek at record speed

26 October 2020

Major infrastructure works during the weekend of 24-25 October

On behalf of Infrabel, BESIX and Tuc Rail are carrying out major infrastructure works to replace the level crossings in Diepenbeek. The work includes the construction of three bridges and a tunnel, which was pushed under the tracks at Diepenbeek station this weekend. The latter was carried out at record speed in order to shut down train traffic for just one weekend.

Sliding a 12m long tunnel

During the weekend of 24 and 25 October, the teams carried out one of the biggest interventions near the station in Diepenbeek.

The future passenger subway was slid under the tracks, in addition to some sewerage, ground and railway works. Installation of the tunnel (12 metres long, 10 metres wide, 3 metres high) is carried out using a special sliding system. With the aid of hydraulic jacks, the tunnel, which weighs more than 400 tonnes, was pushed into place via a metal slide. The teams then had to work quickly to re-press all the ground, before the rain made the work more difficult.

3 bridges

In the coming period, the teams will continue to carry out works near the station. In the Waardestraat, a large scaffolding will be placed above the tracks on which the bridge deck will be built, while in the Nierstraat, overhead wires will be adjusted. Finally, in the Molenstraat, foundation works will be carried out.

During the entire duration of the works, road traffic is diverted locally where necessary in consultation with the municipality and the police.

Part of Spartacus project for increased safety and mobility

The works are part of the Spartacus project, which aims to build a fast tram line between Hasselt and Maastricht. Infrabel's aim is to ensure increased safety on the Belgian rail network and for road users, as well as more punctual train traffic. This level crossing project will also improve the quality of life and mobility in Diepenbeek and Limburg.

Work on the seven level crossings will be completed by the summer of 2022.