VRT/Charlotte Van Driessche

Rail fire: services disrupted all day Tuesday

A fire took out all services travelling through the Brussels North South Link (NSL) this morning.

The disruption was caused by a blaze in an electric signalling box on track 12 at Brussels North. The disruption led to scenes of chaos during the morning rush hour.  Commuters heading into work in Brussels in particular were badly hit.

The disruption is set to continue during the evening rush hour as power cables too have been hit!  All P-trains via Brussels, special commuter trains, have been cancelled tonight as have all S4 and S10 services.  Some services normally bound for Brussels Airport will terminate at Brussels North.  

The rail track company Infrabel believes the fire was lit by a homeless person wishing to warm himself.  The fire spread to the signalling box taking out countless services.

All traffic was stopped on the NSL.  By 8:45 traffic was allowed to resume but with 'technical limitations'.  A limited number of services was able to run.  Other services are being rerouted.

The rail woes also impacted on the roads with more drivers heading into Brussels by car this morning.  Delays of up to one and a half hours were no exception for drivers caught in congestion in the Leopold II Tunnel and the Tervurenlaan.

VRT's Bart Stouten used plastic language to describe his situation on a train outside Brussels North: "We are like herrings in a barrel here at the front of the train. All the other trains I can see are at a standstill."

Thijs Vandepoele/Twitter