ANTWERP | Looking for Linkeroever Railway Station

Station location.

Once upon a time there was a railway station on Antwerp‘s River Scheldt‘s Left Bank: Antwerpen-Linkeroever. On a frisk but sunny December 2021 morning, Famo and I went on the hunt for remnants of Antwerp-Left Bank Railway Station and now lost parts of Railway Line 59.

Famo being braver than I.

Antwerpen-Linkeroever was the name of two different historical railway stations located on line 59 Antwerp-Ghent, in the Linkeroever area, Antwerp. The station was finally closed in 1984.

The oldest station to be constructed at the location was opened on 3 November 1844 as station Vlaams Hoofd (Flemish Head). After the annexation of the village of Vlaams-Hoofd by Antwerp in the name changed to station Antwerp-West

There was also a ferry connection available to Antwerp-Waas station on the right bank side of the Scheldt. Waasland is a region of Belgium. It is part of the provinces of East Flanders and Antwerp. The other borders of the Land van Waas are with the Scheldt and Durme rivers. The (informal) capital and major city of the region is Saint Nicholas (Sint-Niklaas). 

Tunnel

After the opening of the Sint-Annatunnel (St. Anne’s Pedestrian Tunnel) in 1933, the station was renovated in 1935 and renamed station Antwerpen-Linkeroever. 

When the railway section of the J.F. Kennedy Tunnel under the Scheldt was finished in 1970, the station on Linkeroever became obsolete. 

This station at the Beatrijslaan was ultimately closed on 1 February 1970, being replaced by a new station located more to the West at the Katwilgweg

This second station was finally taken out of service on June 3, 1984 due to low ridership. Of the newer station, some remnants still remain in the form of two low-lying and non-maintained platforms located near the present building of the Gazet van Antwerpen.

Looking for remnants

So Famo and I looked at images we found in the ‘Trein en Station Vroeger en Nu (Train et Gare d’aujourd’hui et d’autrefois)Facebook group and went on low-key, child-friendly, age-appropriate urban exploring. 

Spoiler alert: we didn’t find much, not to say “nothing”. 

We found a building on the old station’s location and a bar with the name Café Terminus. In Flanders, a ‘café’ is more often a bar with beer than a café with coffee and cake. 

Café Terminus.

With plenty of imagination, the shape of the streets behind that building could follow former track patterns. 

Further on, a footpath near the Galgenweel pond ‘clearly’ resembles a former track bedding. Or perhaps the tracks were next to the footpath?

And even further, the footpath goes slightly up. Even more further a viaduct shows the more ‘recent’ 1970s bedding.

(Almost) nothing

And that about it. Almost nothing is left. In the 1970s, keeping such heritage wasn’t on the radar. You can’t keep everything. But some mementos would have been nice. 

Tunnels

A few weeks after Famo and I explored the area, Danny and I went back looking for the link between the removed tracks and still-present line 59. Two tunnels fit that bill.

On the look of Antwerp

20 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Wow! Wonderful post! Great Photos! Thank¿s for share, Timothy.
    Have an amazing week!
    Elvira

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Timothy says:

      Thank you Elvira.

      Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        You are welcome, Timothy.
        Great week as well.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. famo says:

    It was fun exploring 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Timothy says:

      It certainly was 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

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