Tram operation by line 4 on the Antwerpsesteenweg will stop from 1 July. From then on, shuttle buses will take over the Lelieplaats-Zwaantjes route. De Lijn is taking this measure in anticipation of the complete reconstruction of the tram tracks.
Due to years of structural underinvestment, the tram tracks on Antwerpsesteenweg are at the end of their lifespan and are in urgent need of renewal. For this reason, tram line 4 has been running at a lower speed of 2022 kilometers per hour since May 10 on the route between Zwaantjes and Steynstraat on Antwerpsesteenweg. The speed adjustment subsequently resulted in an alternative service with a lower frequency during peak hours in order to guarantee the reliability of the service. This rule would remain in effect until the tracks were renewed.
It is not yet certain when the planned renewal of the tram tracks can start. After all, the sewage system under the tram tracks is also due for a thorough renovation. To limit the nuisance of these large-scale works as much as possible, it is desirable that they can be carried out simultaneously.
In the meantime, however, the wear and tear of the tram tracks continues. Due to the further degradation of the tracks, De Lijn has opted as a precaution to stop tram operation on the Lelieplaats-Zwaantjes route from 1 July. From then on, this section of the route will be served by shuttle buses.
The shuttle buses run from Julius De Geyterstraat, De bruynlaan, Antwerpsesteeenweg, Kioskplaats to Lelieplaats. In the other direction, the shuttle buses run from Hoboken Lelieplaats via Oudestraat, Antwerpsesteenweg, De Bruynlaan to Julius De Geyterstraat. These shuttle buses will run at a frequency of 15 minutes, and in addition, the shuttle buses can travel faster than 10 km/h (which is the current maximum speed of tram 4). During the summer months, this frequency will be thoroughly monitored and evaluated. If necessary, adjustments will be made by the start of the new school year, at the beginning of September.
The shuttle buses will run from the Lelieplaats to the Zwaantjes, and will stop at the existing tram stops. Travelers to and from Lelieplaats must make an extra transfer from the shuttle bus to the tram at Zwaantjes, or vice versa, but with this measure De Lijn does guarantee public transport for Hoboken residents.
Trams 2 and 4
Trams 2 and 4 will in any case continue to run as far as the Zwaantjes. At the Zwaantjes, travelers can transfer to both tram line 2 (Zwaantjes – Olympiade – Central Station – Sportpaleis – Merksem) and tram line 4 (Zwaantjes – Zuidstation – Groenplaats – Nationale Bank – Berchem Station). Both lines will end here. In addition, tram 10 (Schoonselhof - Zwaantjes - Zuidstation - Leien - Central Station - Deurne - Wijnegem) also passes at the Zwaantjes.
Bus lines 290/295 also pass here. In addition, bus lines 13/14, 33, 140/141 and 298 pass through Hoboken city center, which can be an alternative to a trip to Hoboken for longer distances. Once the tram tracks on Antwerpsesteenweg have been renewed, probably in 2025, normal service by lines 2 and 4 can be resumed, according to the Flemish transport company.
Photo: Media De Lijn