Liège-Guillemins railway station

Last updated
Liège-Guillemins
SNCB logo.svg Railway Station
Vue de la gare des Guillemins.jpg
LocationPlace des Guillemins, Liège
Coordinates 50°37′29″N5°34′01″E / 50.62472°N 5.56694°E / 50.62472; 5.56694 Coordinates: 50°37′29″N5°34′01″E / 50.62472°N 5.56694°E / 50.62472; 5.56694
Owned by Infrabel
Operated by National Railway Company of Belgium
Line(s) 4, 34, 36, 37, 40, 43, 125
Platforms5
Tracks10
Construction
Architect Santiago Calatrava
History
Opened1842-05-01
2009-09-18
Rebuilt2009-09-18
Traffic
Passengers (2009)6.26 million

Liège-Guillemins railway station( IATA : XHN) is the main station of the city of Liège, the third largest city in Belgium. It is one of the most important hubs in the country and is one of the 3 Belgian stations on the high-speed rail network. The station is used by 15,000 [1] people every day which makes it the eleventh busiest station in Belgium and the third in Wallonia.

An IATA airport code, also known as an IATA location identifier, IATA station code or simply a location identifier, is a three-letter geocode designating many airports and metropolitan areas around the world, defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The characters prominently displayed on baggage tags attached at airport check-in desks are an example of a way these codes are used.

Liège Municipality in French Community, Belgium

Liège is a major Walloon city and municipality and the capital of the Belgian province of Liège.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

Contents

History

In the 1970s. Gare Guillemins annees 1970.jpg
In the 1970s.
In 1905. Gare Guillemins 1905-2.jpg
In 1905.

In 1838, only three years after the first continental railway, a line linking Brussels and Ans, in the northern suburbs of Liège, was opened. The first railway station of Liège-Guillemins was inaugurated in May 1842, linking the valley to the upper Ans station. In 1843, the first international railway connection was born, linking Liège to Aachen and Cologne.

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

Ans Municipality in French Community, Belgium

Ans is a small Belgian municipality located in the Walloon province of Liège. On January 1, 2006, Ans had a total population of 27,322. The total area is 23.35 km² which gives a population density of 1,170 inhabitants per km². Its postal code is 4430.

Aachen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Aachen, also known as Bad Aachen, and in French and traditional English as Aix-la-Chapelle, is a spa and border city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen developed from a Roman settlement and spa, subsequently becoming the preferred medieval Imperial residence of Charlemagne, and, from 936 to 1531, the place where 31 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned Kings of the Germans.

The station was modernised and improved in 1882 and in 1905 for the World Fair in Liège. This Beaux-Arts station was replaced in 1958 by a modern International style building that was used until June 2009, a few months before the opening of the new Calatrava-designed station. The second station was completely demolished to allow the completion of the remaining sections of the new station.

Liège International (1905)

Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Liège was a world's fair held in Liège from 27 April to 6 November 1905 just 8 years after a Belgian exposition held in Brussels. Intended to show Liege's industrial importance it also marked 75 years of Belgian independence and 40 years of Leopold II's reign.

Beaux-Arts architecture Expresses the academic neoclassical architectural style

Beaux-Artsarchitecture was the academic architectural style taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, particularly from the 1830s to the end of the 19th century. It drew upon the principles of French neoclassicism, but also incorporated Gothic and Renaissance elements, and used modern materials, such as iron and glass. It was an important style in France until the end of the 19th century. It also had a strong influence on architecture in the United States, because of the many prominent American architects who studied at the Beaux-Arts, including Henry Hobson Richardson, John Galen Howard, Daniel Burnham, and Louis Sullivan.

International Style (architecture) Type of modernist architecture

The International Style is a major architectural style that was developed in the 1920s and 1930s and was closely related to modernism and modern architecture. It was first defined by Museum of Modern Art curators Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson in 1932, based on works of architecture from the 1920s.

New station

inside view (2013) 13-12-26-Gare de Liege-Guillemins by Santiago Calatrava-20.jpg
inside view (2013)

At the end of the 20th century high speed trains were introduced, requiring a new station since the existing platforms were too small. The new station, by the architect Santiago Calatrava, was officially opened on 18 September 2009, with a show by Franco Dragone. It has 9 tracks and 5 platforms (three of 450 m and two of 350 m). All the tracks around the station have been modernised to allow high speed arrival and departure.

Architect Person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

Santiago Calatrava Spanish engineer and architect

Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter, particularly known for his bridges supported by single leaning pylons, and his railway stations, stadiums, and museums, whose sculptural forms often resemble living organisms. His best-known works include the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Turning Torso tower in Malmö, Sweden, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, Texas, and his largest project, the City of Arts and Sciences and Opera House, in his birthplace, Valencia. His architectural firm has offices in New York City, Doha, and Zürich.

Franco Dragone is a Belgian theatre director. He is the founder and artistic director of Dragone, a creative company specializing in the creation of large-scale theatre shows. He is also known for his work with Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion.

The new station is made of steel, glass and white concrete. It includes a monumental arch, 160 metres long and 32 metres high.

Concrete Composite construction material

Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently in the past a lime-based cement binder, such as lime putty, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement or Portland cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.

The building costs were €312 million.

Services

Liège-Guillemins station is served by InterCity and InterRegio trains, connecting Liège with all major Belgian cities as well as several international destinations such as Aachen, Lille, and Maastricht. In addition to the national trains, Liège-Guillemins station welcomes Thalys and ICE trains, connecting Liège to Brussels, Paris, Aachen, Cologne and Frankfurt. Two new dedicated high-speed tracks were built: HSL 2 (Brussels-Liège) and HSL 3 (Liège-German border).

Lille Prefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Lille is a city at the northern tip of France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, and the main city of the European Metropolis of Lille.

Maastricht City and municipality in Limburg, Netherlands

Maastricht is a city and a municipality in the southeast of the Netherlands. It is the capital and largest city of the province of Limburg. Maastricht is located on both sides of the Meuse, at the point where the Jeker joins it. It is adjacent to the border with Belgium.

Thalys High speed train operator offering services between the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France

Thalys is a French-Belgian high-speed train operator originally built around the LGV Nord high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. This track is shared with Eurostar trains that go from Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam to London via Lille and the Channel Tunnel and with French domestic TGV trains. Thalys serves Amsterdam and Cologne as well. Its system is managed by Thalys International — 62% SNCF, 28% NMBS/SNCB, and 10% Deutsche Bahn — and operated by THI Factory — 60% SNCF, 40% NMBS/SNCB.

There are also plans for Eurostar and ICE to link Liège directly to London.[ citation needed ]

The station is served by the following services:

Preceding station  Thalys  Following station
toward  Paris-Nord
Thalys
toward  Dortmund Hbf
Preceding station  Deutsche Bahn  Following station
towards  Bruxelles-Midi
ICE 79
towards  Frankfurt
Preceding station  SNCB / NMBS  Following station
toward  Oostende
IC 01
toward  Eupen
IC 09
weekends
Terminus
toward  Kortrijk
IC 12
weekdays
toward  Welkenraedt
toward  Hasselt
IC 13
weekdays
toward  Maastricht
Terminus IC 13
weekends
toward  Maastricht
Ans
toward  Quiévrain
IC 14
weekdays
Terminus
IC 18
weekdays
Terminus
toward  Mons
IC 25
weekdays
toward  Liège-Palais
toward  Mouscron
IC 25
weekends
toward  Liers
toward  Liers
IC 33
toward  Luxembourg
toward  Namur
L 01 Terminus
toward  Liers
L 15
toward  Marloie
toward  Herstal
L 17
Ans
toward  Waremme
L 21
weekdays
Terminus
Ans
toward  Landen
L 21
weekends
Terminus

The national trains to Brussels also use the high speed track at 200 km/h, while the Thalys and ICE can go up to 300 km/h (bring Brussels at only 39' minutes from Liège). [2]

Road connections

Liège-Guillemins is also a transport hub for TEC Bus: more than 1620 buses, carrying 15,000 people, serve the station every day. It is one of the few railway stations in Europe directly connected to a motorway (E40-E25). The connection gives direct access to the 850-place parking structure, behind the station. [3] No cycling path connection exists between the station and the city.

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. (xls) SNCB Mobility. "Reizigerstellingen 2009" (in Dutch).
  2. Emeric Massaut [@emassaut] (4 September 2012). "t.co/llDePao6" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  3. "Liège Guillemins - P1 : Parking Gare" . Retrieved 20 October 2012.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Liège-Guillemins train station at Wikimedia Commons