Belgian Coastal Tramway—Revisited.

Last weekend (October 3, 2015), I made my second visit to the Belgian Coastal Tramway (LIJN Kusttram). This tramway is one of Europe’s more unusual railways. It’s a narrow-gauge electric interurban line that connects towns and cities along the Belgian coast using modern trams.

The setting is peculiar to my eye, as much of the coast is characterized by mile after mile of high-rise apartments that face North Sea beaches. Between resort areas are heavy port facilities, such as that at Zeebrugge.

Panoramic composite of the Belgian coast exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1.
Panoramic composite of the Belgian coast exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1.

On my first visit, back in March 2013, I traveled from Ostend to the south end of the line near the French border. Back then it was gray, cold, and exceptionally windy. In other words, it was a complete contrast to last weekend, when it was warm, sunny, and comparatively still.

During this more recent visit, I explored the North-end of the line with some of my Irish friends who are now living in Belgium. At no point did my two journeys on the coastal tramway overlap.

LIJN Kusttram the Knokke terminus at the north-end of the route. Lumix LX7 photo.
LIJN Kusttram the Knokke terminus at the north-end of the route. (The tram carries a destination for De Panne at the far south-end). Lumix LX7 photo.
Blankenberge Pier. Lumix LX7 photo.
Blankenberge Pier. Lumix LX7 photo.
Blenkenberg Pier. Lumix LX7.
Blenkenberg Pier. Lumix LX7.

One of these days I’ll need to visit again, and travel the line from end to end. I’ve by no means worked the most dramatic or most characteristic locations on the line.

Interestingly, I’ve seen relatively few published photos on the route, which makes it a bit more mysterious, and perhaps more interesting to explore.

Belgian Coastal Tramway at Blankenberge.
Belgian Coastal Tramway at Blankenberge.
Advertisements. Lumix LX7 photo.
Advertisements. Lumix LX7 photo.
Sunset on the Coast Tramway. Lumix LX7 Photo.
Sunset on the Coast Tramway. Lumix LX7 Photo.
A passenger validates a ticket on-board the Kusttram.
A passenger validates a ticket on-board the Kusttram.
Knokke terminus at dusk. exposed with a Lumix LX7.
Knokke terminus at dusk. exposed with a Lumix LX7. There are some 70 stops between Knokke and De Panne. That could take a lot of exploring!

Tracking the Light posts Daily!

3 thoughts on “Belgian Coastal Tramway—Revisited.”

  1. In 1963, I made my first trip to Continental Europe. Dublin to Madrid overland (and sea), including Night Ferry to Dunkerque, bus to De Panne, along the Belgian coast when it was a “real tram”, none of this light rail stuff, bus from Knokke to Breskens, ferry to Vlissingen, and train to Den Haag. then back again by train all the way to San Sebastian via Paris and overnight train. Finally 3rd class (they still had 3 classes in Spain), 5 across seating in each compartment, to Madrid. Now that was a trip to remember! But the tram was the highlight. Not many people go from Dublin to Madrid via De Panne and Knokke!

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