Belgium’s first horse-drawn trams were introduced in Brussels in 1869, running from the Porte de Namur to the Bois de la Cambre.
Trams in Belgium from the 1960s
In 1877, a steam tram was introduced but it was not powerful enough for the hilly terrain and the tests were stopped. Simultaneously the Tramways Bruxellois experimented with a locomotive built in Tubize but it did not work either. The components proved too fragile and this experiment was also discontinued.
In 1887, experiments were made with accumulator trams, but these had a very limited range. Trolley power, used in Liège, was also tried in Brussels and in 1894 Brussels’ first electric tram lines were laid from Place Stéphanie/Stefanieplein to Uccle/Ukkel.
Take a look at these fascinating photos from Robert von Hirschhorn to see what Belgium’s tram system looked like in the 1960s.
It was one of the largest suburban tramway networks in Europe during the heydays; the NMVB-SNCV
Antwerp. Motorcar 4415 dressed for route Nº 24 at the Jan van Wouwerstraat in front of the stelplaats (depot) Hoboken
Antwerp. Motorcar 5858 + PCC car 2012 (brake-down) on tow near the workshop and depot Grotehondstraat
Antwerp. Motorcar 8827 + carts with rail near the stelplaats / depot Merksem
Antwerp. Motorcar 9647 on route Nº 63 (NMVB outbound) heading for Brasschaat passes the city tram terminal Merksem