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English version

TUC RAIL Creative Rail Technology for Sustainable Mobility


TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

The RER site in Genval

TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

Contents Introduction


Who are we? In a few words... Our mission Our values Our expertise

5 6 6 8 9

Our projects TGV Regional Express Network Concentration of signal boxes Improving access to airports Axis between Ghent and the coast Improving access to Antwerp port Three investment programs for Brussels Removal of level crossings Raising the height of platforms Maintaining capacity Re-electrification of Line 162 Miscellaneous Infrabel projects Other projects in Belgium Expertise in high speed projects exported abroad

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Publisher Dirk Demuynck (CEO TUC RAIL) 39 Avenue Fonsny 1060 Bruxelles This brochure is printed on FSC labeled paper. Any reproduction, even partial, is prohibited, without the permission of TUC RAIL. September 2012




TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

Introduction Dear Reader, A subsidiary of Infrabel, TUC RAIL is an engineering firm specializing in railroad infrastructure and technology. 2012 is an important year for TUC RAIL, as it marks the twentieth anniversary of its existence. Twenty years of bold challenges and exciting projects in the service of sustainable mobility. Our projects are often very large in scope and range from the construction of the high speed train network in Belgium to the Diabolo rail link, via the Regional Express Network, the concentration of signal boxes on the Belgian rail network and the Liefkenshoek rail link. But TUC RAIL also manages a large number of other projects. This brochure will let you become acquainted with all these accomplishments. In it you will also find more information on our history, our mission, our values, the composition of our shareholders and our different areas of expertise. I hope you enjoy reading it. Sincerely,

Dirk Demuynck CEO


TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

Who are we?



TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

In a few words... TUC RAIL is an engineering and project management firm specializing in rail technology.

and diversifying its experience. This diversification also offers alternative career opportunities to TUC RAIL employees.

TUC RAIL S.A. was founded in 1992 by the SNCB (national Belgian railroad company) and Transurb Technirail (formerly TRANSURB CONSULT). In 2005, following the breakup of the SNCB into three entities, SNCB’s shares in TUC RAIL were taken over by Infrabel, the Belgian rail infrastructure manager. Since then, the company has demonstrated its know-how in the railroad and particularly railroad infrastructure spheres.

TUC RAIL has been awarded the 2008 version of the ISO 9001 quality certificate which guarantees proper execution of all missions assigned to it. The company employs over 900 people and achieved a turnover of around 100 million euros in 2010.

TUC RAIL has ambitions to become one of the top engineering firms for rail technology both in Belgium and abroad. Its expertise is centered around project management, design and construction, both of new and of existing rail infrastructure (modification and modernization). In Belgium, TUC RAIL works for Infrabel, the railroad infrastructure manager. TUC RAIL therefore manages, on a daily basis, large-scale complex projects to develop and modernize one of the busiest railroad networks within the heart of Western Europe. This has enabled it to acquire extensive experience. TUC RAIL also applies its expertise to projects abroad. It is therefore making optimal use of the knowledge acquired in Belgium, is taking up new challenges

Our mission To provide Infrabel with excellent “endto-end” services in the area of railroad infrastructure, with an emphasis on a full service offering for key projects (design and construction) and the continual improvement of our added value. To provide other clients with cost-effective engineering services in the area of infrastructure. These services are selected depending on the resources available, the profit margin and the new knowledge to be acquired.

In a few words...

TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

Nos valeurs



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Our values Share our passion Enthusiasm • Optimism • Enjoyment • Sharing We want to work enthusiastically and with motivation on long-lasting and edifying projects for the future. We are proud of our work and proud to be part of a motivated team and fascinating company. We share our successes and our job satisfaction.

Show respect Right to be different • Identity • Integrity • Environment We recognize, respect and value each individual and every team for their individuality, diversity and authenticity. We are considerate to our environment.

Better collaboration Sharing • Communicating • Thinking • Acting We want to share knowledge, experience, resources and ideas with a view to achieving common goals. TUC RAIL considers collaboration with customers, shareholders and fellow employees the most effective way of finding optimal solutions - and the most pleasant...

Take responsibility Initiatives • Decisions • Commitment • Reasoning With respect to our customers and shareholders as well as our employees, each individual employee will continually take courageous decisions according to circumstances and meet their obligations and keep to their agreements in his/her role.

Continuous improvement Progress • Innovation • Efficiency • Flexibility As a company, we want to increase continuously the value that we offer our customers, shareholders and employees.

Our values

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Our expertise Preliminary studies • Development of railroad infrastructure • Design of high speed lines • Modernization of existing lines • Feasibility studies • Drawing up master plans • Compilation of safety documentation Detailed engineering studies • Topographical, geotechnical and hydraulic studies • Earthworks engineering studies • Design of bridges, viaducts, tunnels, etc. • Studies and logistical support for track laying • Direct current and alternating current electrification • Signaling and telecommunications • Preparation of safety documentation • Safety/ project/risk analysis coordination depending on: - Project execution - Usage - Maintenance Construction site supervision • Organization of worksites • Quality control • Detailed engineering studies and surveys • Coordination of safety/construction with particular attention paid to the safety of TUC RAIL employees, those working for contractors, travellers and third parties • Monitoring of works • Testing and validation Project management • Compulsory purchases • Permits • Environmental management • Technical and financial analyses • Scheduling • Cost evaluation and planning • Carrying out audits of railroad projects Our expertise



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TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

Our projects



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HSR network TUC RAIL was put in charge of designing and supervising construction of the high speed rail network in Belgium. Its main responsibilities concerned feasibility studies, preliminary studies (including ground surveys), project and construction plans, detailed engineering studies, technical specifications, worksite inspection and supervision, analysis and comparison of bids, overall management of the project and final acceptance. The high speed lines link Brussels, Antwerp and Liege to the main cities of neighboring countries (Paris, London, Cologne, Rotterdam and Amsterdam), thereby forming the first international high speed network in Europe. In Belgium, the high speed rail (HSR) network consists of 314 km of railroad, including 200 km of new track. The remainder is made up of tracks which have been modernized and adapted for high speed use. It is made up of three main branches: the Western, Eastern and Northern branches.

The Hal bridges (Western Branch)

HSR network

Western branch TUC RAIL designed and constructed the Western branch of the HSR network in Belgium between Brussels and the French border, a project which took less than five years to complete. The route includes 88 km of railroad, incorporating 71 km of new tracks and 17 km of modified tracks. Eastern branch The branch between Brussels and the German border consists of 33 km of existing line between Brussels and Leuven, which was modernized, 62 km of new line between Leuven and Bierset and 54 km of new or renovated line between Bierset and the German border. The maximum speed on the new tracks is 320 km/h. Northern branch This branch, linking Brussels with the Dutch border, consists of 46 km of modernized and modified tracks between Brussels and Antwerp, 5 km of partially modernized/new lines in the city of Antwerp and 35 km of new high speed lines between Antwerp and the Dutch border.

The Humaniteitsbrug in Drogenbos (Western Branch)

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The Soumagne tunnel (Eastern Branch)

Construction of the HSR network required the completion of a number of large infrastructural projects such as the Hal bridges, the Antoing viaduct, the Soumagne tunnel, the Herve, Battice and JosĂŠ viaducts, the tunnel under Antwerp station and the new stop at Noorderkempen.

The tunnel under Antwerp station (Northern Branch)

The Battice viaduct (Eastern Branch)

Up to September 1998, TUC Rail’s activities were entirely related to the HSR project in Belgium. Today, the company also provides project management, technical studies and worksite management for all infrastructure projects in Belgium and internationally.

Noorderkempen stop (Northern Branch)

HSR network



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Regional Express Network The construction of the Regional Express Network (RER) in and around Brussels is currently one of TUC RAIL’s biggest projects. The RER will provide a solution to the increasing gridlock on the road network in and around Brussels, gridlock which has disastrous consequences for the environment. Mobility within a 30 km radius of the capital will be considerably improved by increasing capacity on the main rail lines into and out of Brussels. This increased capacity has already been partially achieved as part of the high speed rail works and needs to be completed with the switching of three lines to a 4-track alignment and the construction of the new Schuman-Josaphat tunnel. The RER is a wide-ranging, complex project which cannot be summarized in a few lines. The text below outlines the main elements of the project.

The RER project concerns Line 161 (Ottignies – Brussels) which has been split into two segments, namely the Ottignies to Watermael part and the Watermael to Josaphat part (including the new Schuman-Josaphat tunnel), Line 124 (Nivelles – Brussels) and Line 50A (Denderleeuw – BrusselsMidi). TUC RAIL has been appointed by Infrabel to provide project management, design and supervision of the works to switch these three lines to a 4-track alignment. Important infrastructural works are currently under way, including the modification or renovation of track beds, tracks, overhead lines, bridges, tunnels, stops and stations. Line 161 is currently one continuous construction site between Schuman station and the Louvain-la-Neuve junction. The Watermael Schuman Josaphat program was first to begin, and is therefore the most advanced of the four RER programs. Construction of the Schuman-Josaphat tunnel is approaching completion, and the installation of the rail equipment started this year. The open section along the existing line between Schuman and Watermael is completed. Only the ends of the section are still under construction: to the North the renovation of Schuman station and to the South the redevelopment of the tracks in the so-called “Etterbeek” triangle. Civil engineering works are well under way in the WatermaelOttignies program. Four of the nine civil engineering sites will shortly be completed: OttigniesSud, Hoeilaart, Limal-Limelette and Genval.

RER site at Schuman station

Regional Express Network

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The major civil engineering work on Line 124 began at Uccle, Waterloo, Braine-l’Alleud and Nivelles. The zones crossed by the line present similarities with those crossed by Line 161. Identical solutions are being used in both cases. For the station redevelopments, TUC RAIL is working with the two specialist subsidiaries of SNCB-Holding: Eurogare, formerly Euroliège TGV, and Eurostation. Two new car parks at Braine-l’Alleud (450 spaces) and Nivelles (700 spaces) are already in use.

RER site in Genval

The density of habitation of the areas crossed requires several structures of original design: cantilever structures on piles at the top of slopes and several walls on timbered trenches or secant piles have enabled many compulsory purchases to be avoided. The existing bridges are being renovated, not only to accommodate the four tracks but also to match the width of the roadway to current road and pedestrian traffic. Several bridges straddling the tracks have been replaced by covered cuttings allowing new developments of stations and their surroundings. New overhead line gantries have been installed above the current tracks and the new platforms to allow existing tracks to be moved and new tracks to be installed without disruption to rail traffic.

Besides modernizing the infrastructure (bridges and rail platforms) and the passenger facilities (parking, access to platforms and platforms), TUC RAIL is also working to renew the signaling to improve safety on Line 124. Line 50A constitutes the third and final part of the RER project. Several bridges along this line have also been modified RER works in Nivelles

Regional Express Network



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Pede viaduct in Dilbeek

Zaventem station on Line 36

or renovated with a view to doubling up the railroad track. The Pede viaduct at Dilbeek is certainly one of the most spectacular of these bridge works, with TUC RAIL laying two additional lines at a height of 20 meters against an already existing listed building. The tracks are being laid on decks which are themselves resting on cantilevered supports. Renovation of the already-existing structure of the Pede viaduct was also carried out by TUC RAIL.

In addition to the doubling of these three lines, TUC RAIL also, as part of the RER project, modernized Line 36 between Leuven and Brussels. It built and fitted out the Zaventem and Kortenberg stations as well as the stops at Diegem, Nossegem, Erps-Kwerps, Veltem and Herent. Infrabel employed Eurostation to design the new stations.

Regional Express Network

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Concentration of signal boxes After completing the TGV network in Belgium, TUC RAIL was awarded several contracts for the construction of large scale projects. One of these projects involves the concentration of the signal boxes on the Belgian railroad network. Under this contract, Infrabel has entrusted TUC RAIL with responsibility for providing overall project management as well as jointly assisting with the upgrading of the signaling system on the Belgian railroad network. The signal box concentration projects are of vital importance as they relate to the safety of the railroad network, which is one of Infrabel’s key strategic focus areas.

At the beginning of the project, the Belgian network was controlled by 368 signaling stations, each box being occupied by operators who manage rail traffic via routes (using signals - point switching – train detectors). The ultimate objective of the project is to concentrate these stations into 31 operational stations with an additional 11 local command stations which can be remotely controlled by one of the 31 final stations (for facilities with large sorting sidings for freight trains). In some cases, concentration of the signal boxes involves replacing the existing installation with ultramodern electronic interlocking. This means enhanced safety, greater regularity and better information about railroad traffic.

Š SNCB-Holding

Concentration of signal boxes



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The technology used to safely control and monitor train movements is fully computerized and allows for equipment to be controlled (signals point switches) within a radius of 10 to 100 km. This contrasts with the traditional signaling stations which were limited to a distance of 5 to 6 km. The full concentration and modernization process can only be completed if certain ancillary technical conditions, not directly related to the signaling system itself, are fulfilled. It is, for example, essential that transmission of information between the equipment on the ground and the signal box should be done via a fiber optic network and that power supplies to the equipment be made more secure using a redundant power supply system. The new centralized system will be more user-friendly and ergonomic and therefore easier to operate than the older equipment. In addition, trainrelated information will be analyzed in an entirely different way, compared to the past, which will be more efficient. Infrabel Signalisation is responsible for the technical oversight of this project in order to ensure the safety of the signaling systems installed. TUC RAIL is in charge of program management. Its mission is to make sure that the entire project is carried out. Also included are design, coordination of certain works executed by third parties and functional tests. This program also involves the construction of 17 new signal boxes. Another part of the program consists of the construction and/or the equipment for the feeder stations and 1,000 volt supply to power the new signaling equipment. As regards construction work, TUC RAIL is involved in replacing the signaling system in several stations and installing the signaling system on certain sections of the Belgian network.

Concentration of signal boxes

TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

Concentration of signal boxes



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Improving access to airports Mobility is a big issue in Belgium. TUC RAIL is playing its part in improving mobility through different projects including, among others, improving rail access to the airports. The objective is to make the airports more accessible and provide an efficient link between the airports and the major cities in neighboring countries.

TUC RAIL had already worked within the framework of a PPP for other customers in the past. Infrabel was thus able to benefit from the company’s experience, a major asset for the management of the contractual aspects required by the constructions built within the framework of the PPP. This also allowed TUC RAIL to demonstrate the flexibility needed to manage the various interests of the partners concerned.

Brussels Airport Within the framework of the Diabolo project, TUC RAIL was responsible for the overall program management, the design and supervision of the Diabolo works executed within the framework of a Public Private Partnership (PPP), i.e. essentially the boring of the tunnel under the airport and Brucargo sites.

TUC RAIL therefore delivered what could be termed as a “turnkey” project to its customer, Infrabel, insofar as the infrastructure delivered was completely ready to be put into service. Working within the framework of a PPP had several implications. The structure of the contract was very different, which meant devising another method of negotiation.

Tunnel underneath Brussels Airport

Improving access to airports

Zemst bridge over E19 freeway

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Moreover, the Diabolo project brought together a greater number of partners than in a traditional project, which led TUC RAIL and Infrabel to adopt several roles. The entire project lasted nearly seven years. The preparatory studies date from 2005. They included the preliminary studies, the permit requests and drawing up the specifications. The works on the central reservation of the E19 freeway began on 2nd July 2007. The works relating to the part falling under the scope of the PPP began end October 2007, whereas the works in the Brussels-Capital Region began at the beginning of August 2009. The entire infrastructure was finalised, tested and validated in line with the schedule. The railway tunnel bored for the Diabolo starts at Brussels National Airport railway station (cut-andcover tunnel approximately 400 m long). It then passes under the take-off and landing strips (bored tunnel with two 1 070-m long tubes). It continues under the Brucargo area (450-metre long cut-and-cover tunnel) and then under the Machelen interchange. It then resurfaces on the central reservation where it joins the new 25N line linking Schaerbeek and Malines. The boring of the double tunnel had to be of the utmost precision because the least ground subsidence could have disastrous consequences for a plane taking off or landing. It was possible to bore the twin tunnel with a deviation of

Railway line on E19 central reservation

less than two centimetres, a remarkable margin well below the tolerance margin. The overground works are centered on the new 25N line which passes on the central reservation of the E19 freeway. Although they are less spectacular than the underground works, they are nevertheless a notable feat. The design of the 150-m long Zemst bridge is a good example. TUC RAIL also built the “Iris� viaduct: 820 m long and 20 m high, it stands on 42 pillars topped off with an iris, the symbol of the Brussels-Capital Region. As for the bridge on the Woluwelaan, it is an integral bridge whose three floor slabs are connected as a monolith to the abutments. Built as an arch bridge, it has a span of 90 m.

Improving access to airports



TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure

Haren viaduct

Brussels South Charleroi Airport The objective of this TUC RAIL-managed project is to create a rail link between Brussels South Charleroi Airport and the Belgian rail network, which will be a major asset for the future development of the airport. Besides serving the airport itself, the new stop could also act as a pull for people working in and close to the airport (industrial zone) and for commuters travelling to Brussels. The new railroad line will link Luttre station on Line 124 (Charleroi-South – Brussels) to Line 140 (Charleroi-South – Ottignies) at the former Ransart station passing through the airport zone. The airport/airport business and technology park

Improving access to airports

zones will be crossed by tunnel. The station will be located underneath the airport. A parking lot will be built close by with easy access from the freeway. The mission entrusted to TUC RAIL by Infrabel extends from the design of the project up to its construction and includes, among other things, the preliminary studies, the drawing up of documents required for administrative procedures such as applications for permits, the design itself, the management and supervision of the worksite as well as management of the project.

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Axis between Ghent and the coast To respond to the increase in passenger traffic and actively support the commercial development and expansion of Zeebrugge port, Infrabel is currently carrying out various infrastructural works between Ghent and Zeebrugge. A third and fourth track are currently being developed between Ghent and Bruges while a third track is being installed between Bruges and Dudzele. Due to the combination of slow and fast trains, the existing line has already been operating at full capacity for a number of years. This means that it is no longer possible to add any additional trains and delays cannot therefore be reduced. The additional rail infrastructure will therefore allow for improved links with the hinterland for freight-related transport, as well as a smoother flow of passenger traffic.

Two additional tracks between Ghent and Bruges This program incorporates the development of a third and fourth track between Ghent and Bruges, over a distance of approximately 30 km. The laying of these additional tracks will enable slow train traffic to be separated from fast trains. The capacity of the railroad line linking Ghent to Bruges will therefore be increased.

Tunnel under Hansbeke stop between Ghent and Aalter

Bridge over Bevrijdingslaan in Bruges (simulation)

This increase in capacity involves the removal of all level crossings on the route, their replacement with new bridges and tunnels, or development of new roads running alongside the tracks linking up with existing bridges or tunnels. Retaining level crossings on a four-track line would actually involve an increase in the duration and frequency of gate closed periods, resulting in long waiting times for road users. Removing the level crossings would also prevent any accidents involving road traffic.

Axis between Ghent and the coast



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Development of the third and fourth tracks will necessitate the construction of an underground branch line at Snepkaai (entering/exiting Ghent-Saint-Peter station), the complete redevelopment of the stops between Ghent and Bruges and the adjustment of all bridges and tunnels to the widening of the track. The works will be completed in phases. Development of a third track between Bruges and Dudzele This program is aimed at increasing the capacity of the section on Lines 51 and 51A between Bruges and the Dudzele branch line by developing a third track 7.4 km long between Bruges station and the Dudzele junction. The speed on the section will also be increased from 90 to 120 km/h. At the same time, Infrabel is making various improvements to this line with the modification and renovation of branch lines and bridges as well as the removal of a level crossing (at Lentestraat). Adding the third track also involves construction of an underground junction at the “Blauwe Toren� branch line. Construction works commenced in February 2010. TUC RAIL is in charge of the overall management of the two programs. Apart from general coordination, this mission also includes the design and supervision of the works, in close cooperation with various internal and external services. To ensure that these programs operate correctly, appropriate modern management methods will be used: scheduling management, drawing up of annual budgets and budgetary management for each program, risk management, compilation of reports, etc.

Bridge over Blankenbergsesteenweg in Bruges (simulation)

Axis between Ghent and the coast

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Improving access to Antwerp port

Ned e

Liefkenshoek railway tunnel



Liefkenshoek rail link North bundle South bundle

Liefkenshoek rail link The Liefkenshoek rail link is a direct link between the left and right banks of the Scheldt. It is aimed at responding to the expected considerable growth in freight traffic in the region in the years ahead. The new rail link will relieve pressure on the busy AntwerpBerchem intersection, and also significantly cut the journey time for goods traffic between the Left and Right Banks. The new link consists of a two-track stretch 16.2 km long running from the western bundle head of the existing South bundle on the Left Bank. From there the new railway line runs parallel to the E34/N49 freeway and to the R2 from the E34/N49-R2 interchange. The Improving access to Antwerp port


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project. LOCORAIL will hand over the infrastructure to Infrabel for a period of 38 years. Infrabel will pay an availability payment per year. At the end of this 38 year period, the infrastructure will be transferred to Infrabel free of charge. Given the length of the tunnels, particular attention was paid to safety in them. A detailed safety study was used as a basis for determining the most appropriate safety measures. This is expressed in both the passive and active fire safety measures.

Tunnel bore machine used to excavate Liefkenshoek tunnel

longitudinal profile starts to drop, before passing under the Waasland canal further on via the existing but never used Beveren rail tunnel. After the Beveren tunnel the track continues underground, in an open cutting parallel to the R2. Via 2 parallel single-track drilled tunnel shafts each 6 km long the new line then passes under the Scheldt and the canal dock before joining up with Line 11 and Antwerp-Nord marshalling yard on the Right Bank. The civil engineering component of the project will be carried out by means of a DBFM contract under a Public Private Partnership (PPP). A private partnership will be responsible for Design, Building, Finance and Maintenance of the new infrastructure. LOCORAIL, a consortium specifically set up for this purpose, composed of BAM PPP, CFE and Vinci Concessions, has been selected as the private partner for this

Improving access to Antwerp port

Unlike in passenger tunnels, where in case of fire the safe evacuation of passengers takes priority, in the event of a fire in a goods tunnel the priority is to put the fire out as quickly as possible. This is because the fire load of goods trains can be very high, which could jeopardize the structural integrity of the tunnel. Hence the choice of an automatic foam extinguishing system, the first of its kind in Belgium. Various other safety measures were also incorporated into the design. For example, several evacuation shafts and crosspassages have been provided, and the tunnel has been equipped with a linear fire detection system, smoke and heat extraction fans, camera surveillance, access control by means of a badge system, guaranteed (redundant) electrical power, a gas detection system, fire hydrants, the ASTRID communication system for the emergency services, a Building Management System and an automatic gas and fire scenario PLC linked to the signals.

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“Oude Landen” junction and second access line to the port Rail plays a major role in the transport of freight traffic to and from Antwerp port. The 27A freight line, whose current main axis runs alongside the Antwerp ring road, is currently experiencing problems relating to capacity. In addition, the various port expansion works and the increase in the rail market share will lead to growth in traffic in the years ahead. An increase in the capacity of the line is therefore required. Construction of the “Oude Landen” junction at Ekeren, for which TUC RAIL is doing the design work, is in line with this plan. It will allow for a considerable increase in capacity on line 27A. This junction marks the start of work on the second rail access line to Antwerp port. This will be realized with a new freight line which will link the port to the railroad network at Lier and for which TUC RAIL is currently carrying out the preliminary studies. After crossing the E19 freeway, the second access line will run alongside the A102, the future freeway between the Antwerp-North road junction (A12/E19) and the E313 at Wommelgem. After the Wommelgem roundabout, the new line will travel towards Lier on an, as yet, undetermined route.

Access ramp of Beveren tunnel

Improving access to Antwerp port



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Three capacity extension programs for Brussels TUC RAIL is responsible for program management, design, management and supervision of work for three major investment programs which will allow for an increase in railroad capacity in Brussels. At Brussels-Midi, work on the new 4-track alignment on the L50A (Ghent-Brussels) has been underway since 2009 in the Western part of the existing infrastructure. Further in the future, towards 2025, other important civil engineering

Work at Rue du Progrès near Brussels-Nord station (simulation)

structures will be built to allow for track crossings to be removed in the center and Eastern part of the zone, stretching from the Forest station to the platforms at Brussels-Midi.

Three capacity extension programs for Brussels

To the West of the Brussels-Nord quadrangle, planning permission has been requested for the construction of a grade-separated crossing between track A of the LGV 36N (Brussels-Liège) and the L50 (Brussels-Denderleeuw) which travels alongside rue du Progrès in Schaerbeek. A second phase of works will see the construction of a new branch track called the L161/3. Running through a tunnel, it will directly link L161 (Brussels-Namur) to the tracks of L25 (BrusselsAntwerp) which follows the third box culvert of the Nord-Midi junction and passes to the East of the quadrangle. Other track crossings will also have to be removed at Schaerbeek¬Formation. The idea of increasing the capacity of the Nord–Midi axis in Brussels was initiated in 2009 by Infrabel as a response to the problem of congestion of the three box culverts at the NordMidi junction. A major general transport review and feasibility studies were conducted by TUC RAIL’s teams in collaboration with a partner engineering firm to determine the best options in terms of new infrastructures capable of meeting the transport needs identified by 2030. Since March 2012, the results have been presented by Infrabel to the relevant authorities with a view to determining future directions for this ambitious program of increasing capacity.

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Removal of level crossings Infrabel drew up its 2008-2015 strategic plan in response to the Belgian government’s desire to reduce the number of accidents at level crossings. The aim of this plan is to structurally improve safety at level crossings and to reduce by 25%, compared to 2007, the number of injuries and deaths resulting from accidents. Infrabel’s plan provides for the removal of 200 level crossings throughout the network. To do this, rail infrastructure manager Infrabel has entrusted TUC RAIL with responsibility for overall project management and the design and execution of a number of removal projects which cannot be handled by Infrabel. Depending on the importance of the level crossing and local conditions, a removal project usually includes the following elements: • • • •

TUC RAIL follows several steps when removing a level crossing: • • • • • • •

preparatory assessment and preliminary surveys and transport surveys where necessary; negotiations with the municipalities and preliminary design; public consultation and Royal Decree; compulsory purchases; planning permission; drawing up of specifications and awarding of contract; execution of the works.

a parallel road running to an adjacent level crossing; an underpass for pedestrians and cyclists; a bridge over the tracks; a tunnel under the tracks

Tunnel replaces level crossing in Sint-Niklaas, between Antwerp and Ghent

Removal of level crossings



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Raising the height of platforms The management contract between the Belgian state and Infrabel stipulates that accessibility to the infrastructure for travelers must be improved. For this purpose, Infrabel has drawn up a plan for the “systematic improvement of accessibility to platforms”. This plan is based on three principles: installing elevators and wheelchair ramps on the platforms, the installation of warning and guide lines and raising the height of the platforms.

TUC RAIL takes the following steps when raising the height of a platform: drawing up a preliminary design, applying for planning permission and compulsory purchase orders (where the platforms are moved), compiling the technical specifications, awarding the contract and execution of the works.

During the 2009 to 2022 period, Infrabel will raise the height of platforms in 160 stations and stops. These platforms will also be equipped with warning and guide lines. 73% of travelers will be able to use raised platforms. To achieve this ambitious plan, Infrabel has entrusted TUC RAIL with responsibility for overall program management as well as the design and execution of a certain number of projects which are not carried out by Infrabel.

New raised platform at Okegem station near Ninove

Maintaining capacity Infrabel’s Infrastructure Division has entrusted TUC RAIL with the overall Program Management of the projects to maintain capacity in Brussels. This mission has been extended to the design, management and supervision of the Brussels overhead lines modernization work. Two civil engineering contracts are currently being carried out up to mid-2013. The first consists of the overhead lines for the approach tracks of Brussels-Nord and for Line 26 and Line 124.

Raising the height of platforms / Maintaining capacity

The second concerns the modernization of the two storage sidings at Schaerbeek-Formation. Other work also needs to be carried out for Infrabel’s Centre Zone: the renewal of rails and switches, the modernization of the heating of the switch motors and the grill lighting, the replacement of various pieces of equipment in the stations, the provision of generators and the construction of a new traction substation at Brussels-Nord.

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Re-electrification of Line 162 The re-electrification works on Line 162 are part of an overall modernization of the Infrabel managed line. The purpose of this modernization is to reduce journey times on the line. Infrabel has put TUC RAIL in charge of design, supervision of the works and management of the re-electrification of L162 between Namur and the Luxembourg border. These works consist of a complete renewal of the overhead line infrastructure. The special feature of this new type of overhead line, the concept for which was developed by TUC RAIL, is that it is mixed. This means that it is compatible with the existing 3kV direct current power supply (classic lines) but also with the future 25kV alternating current power supply. Overhead lines on Line 162 in Barnich, near Arlon

Work at overhead lines in Sterpenich, near Arlon Re-electrification of Line 162



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Special work for Infrabel TUC RAIL also carries out special work for Infrabel outside the general framework of traditional infrastructural works.

GSM-R mast

Brussels Nord-Midi junction

Special work for Infrabel

GSM-R: communications and safety TUC RAIL is actively involved in the development of the GSM-R (GSM for Railways) network in Belgium. The GSM-R network forms part of the European ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System). This system enables movement authorizations and speed instructions to be transmitted from the signal boxes and displayed on the drivers’ dashboards. Besides the medium for transmission of rail signals, the GSM-R also enables traffic safety in general, and the safety of employees and companies working along the tracks in particular, to be improved. In collaboration with ICTRA (ICT for Rail, ICT department of SNCB-Holding), TUC RAIL is responsible for preliminary studies, building permit files, stability studies and monitoring the work on the GSM-R masts. Around 350 masts have been erected. Around 140 masts belonging to other operators have also been modified. Finally, we are examining the possibility of using eighty new masts to deploy ETCS 2 (European Train Control System) on the lines in question. Business Continuity Strategy The notion of “Business Continuity” refers to the continuity of a company’s business and its anticipation of what steps to take to ensure that its business continues under the best conditions possible. The Business Continuity Strategy programs for the NordMidi junction in Brussels and the Kennedy tunnel in Antwerp were entrusted to TUC RAIL by Infrabel in 2009. These programs involve bringing the operational availability of the existing structures in line with that of other modern tunnels in compliance with current standards and recommendations. A feasibility study was carried out by the TUC RAIL teams to define the safety and availability measures required to guarantee the continued operation of these structures and to propose the staggering of the works over two successive phases integrated into a vast upgrade program of the existing rail infrastructure between Brussels-Nord and BrusselsMidi.

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Other projects in Belgium In Belgium, TUC RAIL works not only for Infrabel but also for SNCB-Holding, the parent railroad company which also manages railroad property, and for SNCB which runs the network. Recognizing TUC RAIL’s experience and expertise in the management of large-scale soil and groundwater sanitation projects on former contaminated railroad sites, SNCB-Holding has awarded numerous sanitation contracts to TUC RAIL. The most striking example is the Antwerp Dam project. The city of

Antwerp developed the new “Spoor Noord” city park on two neighboring sites. For SNCB, which is investing in additional rolling stock, TUC RAIL will be constructing a multipurpose workshop in Melle, near Ghent, for the maintenance and repair of RER trains. TUC RAIL is also designing and constructing several car wash facilities in Schaerbeek and Courtrai. Finally, SNCB has also asked TUC RAIL to enlarge a container transshipment terminal by 41,000 m2 in the Antwerp port zone.

“Spoor Noord” City Park is an ancient railroad site in Antwerp for which TUC RAIL carried out soil sanitation.

Other projects in Belgium



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Expertise in high speed projects abroad While best known for being the company that developed the high speed rail network in Belgium, TUC RAIL is also collaborating on the development of the high speed network at the international level, notably in Spain, France and Saudi Arabia. Spain The expertise of TUC RAIL was relied upon for the laying of around 44.5 km of high speed line (HSL) between the French city of Perpignan and the Spanish town of Figueres. The trains on this line are intended to carry both passengers and freight at speeds of 350 km/h and 120 km/h respectively. Works were carried out between 2004 and 2009. TUC RAIL contributed to the research and development of the technical aspect of the system (preliminary and final design), the approval of the implementation studies and the supervision and inspection of activities in the areas of safety, RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety), track, signaling, telecommunications, overhead lines and dynamic testing TUC RAIL also provided technical assistance during the preparations of the operations management, the maintenance and the testing and validation procedure, as well as the creation of the final RAMS file. The Perpignan-Figueres project was complex and difficult (different track gauges, legislation, technical norms and standards, etc.). The project enabled TUC RAIL to work at the level of both a franchisee and an engineering group. Thanks to this project, TUC RAIL was also able to familiarize itself with working within the context of a Public-Private HSL between Perpignan and Figueres

Projecten in het buitenland

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France TUC RAIL is currently working on two major projects: the HSL Sud Europe - Atlantique and the HSL Bretagne - Pays de la Loire. The high speed line Sud Europe - Atlantique (HSL SEA) between Tours and Bordeaux will comprise 340 km of new lines, made up of 302 km of high speed lines and around 40 kilometres of connections to the existing line.

TUC RAIL’s two HSL projects in France

Partnership (PPP) and cooperating with a host of different stakeholders in a wide variety of languages. In this way, TUC RAIL was able to demonstrate and further develop its knowledge of, for example, electromagnetic compatibility, RAMS and ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) levels 1 and 2.

As part of this project, an Independent Technical Organization (ITO) has been appointed. Its task is to assess technical conformity and compliance with the obligations for sustainable development for all of the technical and environmental areas relating to the design and construction of the new line. It was TUC RAIL, in partnership, that was appointed to carry out this mission. To this end it is responsible within this partnership for assessing the technical equipment. This mission includes assessing the conformity of studies, assessing the conformity of work, formulation of opinions for all project assessments, compliance with the quality blueprint and the environmental quality plan, assistance with infrastructure reception operations and supervision of progress. The future high speed line Bretagne - Pays de la Loire (HSL BPL) between Le Mans and Rennes will be 182 km in length, to which will be added 32 km of connections. It will extend the current high speed line between Paris and Le Mans, which is 180 km long and went into service in 1989. As part of this project, TUC RAIL is helping carry out a special project management (SPM) mission for the fixed installations for electric traction (overhead line and power supply studies). This mission is being carried out in cooperation with a partner.

Expertise in high speed projects abroad



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Saudi Arabia The Haramain High Speed Rail Project consists of the design and construction of a 444 km double-track high speed line between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. In March 2009, the Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) awarded the contract for the civil engineering work, retaining walls, underpasses, construction of bridges, viaducts, tracks and earthmoving work, etc. to the Al-Rahji Alliance consortium.

Against this backdrop, in June of that year, TUC RAIL signed a technical assistance agreement with the Lebanese engineering firm Khatib & Alami, a member of the Al-Rahji Alliance consortium. This contract provides for ad-hoc missions as a consultant and expert on high speed lines. To date, TUC RAIL has acted as consultant and expert for around fifty “Work Packages” concerning, for example, the revision of the design criteria and technical documents, and the civil engineering. TUC RAIL also executed the preliminary design and the final design for the “Makkah Flare” viaduct that enables the new high speed line to enter Mecca station.

Sakakah Tabuk Ha’il Buraydah

Ad Damman



Jeddah Mecca

Abha Jizan

High speed line between Mecca and Medina, via Jeddah, and Saudi Arabia

Expertise in high speed projects abroad

TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure



TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure



TUC RAIL Corporate Brochure



Would you like to collaborate on our projects? Would you like to know more about what we do? Are you looking for an interesting job with TUC RAIL? Then go to

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