Antwerpen Berchem now has a new tunnel excavated between Berchem station and Antwerpen-Dam station in the north, which passes under Antwerpen Centraal station. This now offers passengers platforms on two underground levels. This upgrading now also means the HSL 4 and the HSL Zuid high speed trains to travel through Centraal Station without having to turn around. In the past you would have had (if you were on the Amsterdam-Brussels train) to stop only at Antwerpen Berchem or reverse at Centraal. The HSL 4 (Dutch: Hoge SnelheidsLijn, lit. High Speed Line) is a Belgian high speed rail line that connects Brussels to the Dutch border. There are now 87 km long 40 km dedicated high speed tracks, and 57 km modernized lines). The HSL-Zuid – short for Hogesnelheidslijn Zuid ("Southern High-Speed Line") – is a 125-km long line in place in the Netherlands and Belgium.
High speed service is anticipated for 2008 and the complete project rang up a tab of roughly 1.6 billion EURO which many consider to be a major vote of confidence in the booming economy of the area. Antwerpen Berchem and its other stops are fascinating glimpses into the history of Belgium, not to mention travel by train can be expeditious and romantic.
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