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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | Scheldekaaien or Scheldt Quays.
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | Zurenborg.
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | Cogels-Osylei between Berchem and Antwerp’s Zurenborg neighbourhood.
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | De Gerlachekaai at the Scheldt.
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | Sint-Andriesplein.
- ANTWERP | City forest, orchard and pond for Nieuw Zuid Scheldt Quays by 2024.
- ANTWERP | Renovation of Scheldt Quays between Sint-Andries and ‘t Zuid.
- ANTWERP | Final design revealed for Scheldt Quays at Nieuw Zuid.
- Redesigning Antwerp’s central Scheldt Quays between Noorderterras and Zuiderterras.
- Borsbeek to become Antwerp’s 10th district.
- Antwerp’s Droogdokkensite redeveloped into maritime experience area.
- VIDEO | The renovation of Antwerp City Hall.
- Antwerp-Central Railway Station to get new facade lights.
- Antwerp’s renewed Scheldt Quays at Loodswezen to get World War II victims memorial.
- ANTWERP | 2023-2024 Park Gedempte Zuiderdokken to have grass and water.
- ANTWERP | Bonapartedok to become centre for water sports and recreation.
- PHOTOS | Het Steen, Antwerp’s new Visitor Centre.
- VIDEO | Walking the future Spoorpark between Zurenborg (Antwerp) and Borgerhout.
- 5 spots in Antwerp to soak up the sun for free.
- VIDEO | Sunset over Antwerp’s Scheldt river.
- Antwerp to be car-free by 2024?.
- BOOK | ‘Antwerp. An Archaeological View on the Origin of the City’ by Tim Bellens.
- Antwerp landmark Boerentoren to become Art & Culture Tower by 2027.
- Antwerp to get a pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Scheldt.
- VIDEO | Bicycle ramp for Parkbrug at Park Spoor Noord / ‘t Eilandje in Antwerp opened.
- VIDEO | Antwerp researching old castle at Noorderterras.
- VIDEO | Pedestrian bridge in Antwerp’s Stadspark restored.
- Antwerp’s Rubens House to have new visitor centre by 2024.
- ANTWERP | Rubens House to close on 9 January 2023 and reopen in 2027.
- Noorderterras to become Kaailine, Antwerp’s New York-inspired High Line.