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Another ‘Tramfeest’ in Belgium: 150 years of Ghent tramway

First PCC no. 01 in Ghent, built in 1971 by La Brugeoise et Nivelles (BN / later Bombardier Transportation), Brugge + ACEC (Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi), today part of Alstom | © Ralf Wittenberg

After the tramway in Antwerp celebrated its 150th anniversary with a big parade last year (see here), this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Ghent tramway, which also belongs to the Flemish transport company ‘De Lijn’.

This was celebrated on Whit Sunday with a big ‘Tramfeest’ around the Korenmarkt in Ghent. In the morning, there was a tram parade along the old walls. In the afternoon, 8 trams travelled between Sint-Niklaasstraat and Sint-Pietersstation.

Already the day before, 3 different routes were offered for special fan trips through the city centre, to Moscou and Zwijnaarde.

Horse-drwan tramcar 8853 in service! | © Ralf Wittenberg
Steam locomotive HL 303 from 1888 operating in the city centre | © Ralf Wittenberg
SNCV/NMVB interurban tram no. 9985, built by SA Usines de Braine-Le-Comte/ACEC in 1931 | © Ralf Wittenberg
NMVB/SNCV 2-axle tram car, similar to those operating in the Gent region, built new in 1932 | © Ralf Wittenberg
Autorail diesel motorcar AR.86 for SNCV/NMVB interurban routes | © Ralf Wittenberg

The festival was enriched by the many guest vehicles from the Lobbes-Thuin Museum (ASVi), the coastal tramway and the Flemish Tramway Museum in Antwerp (VlaTAM). Special highlights were the use of the steam locomotive HL303 and the ‘diesel tram’ Aurorail AR86, both from the museum in Lobbes-Thuin.

Just like last year in Antwerp, this was a very successful event thanks to the great commitment of the transport company and the participating associations.

3-axle tramcar no. 328 + trailers 55 + 70 | © Ralf Wittenberg
Horse tram no. 8853, built by Ateliers de Construction J. Droeshout and C. Windels in Mechelen | © Ralf Wittenberg
3-axle tram 339 and horse tram 8853 | © Ralf Wittenberg
Tower lorry with Chrysler motor built in 1920-22 | © Ralf Wittenberg
Built new in 1971 as Ghent no. 15, with PCC was completely reubilt by the German Mittenwalder Gerätebau in 2003. It is numbered 6215 by current operator De Lijn | © Ralf Wittenberg
Open summer tramcar 216, built new by Atéliers Métallurgiques in Nivelles in 2008 | © Ralf Wittenberg
La Brugeoise et Nivelles (BN / später Bombardier Transportation), Brügge and ACEC (Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi) supplied these PCC tramcars to Ghent in 1971-74 | © Ralf Wittenberg
Classical SNCV/NMVB series S interurban tramcar. No. 9093 mainly operated in and around Brussels | © Ralf Wittenberg
SNCV/NMVB trailer 19537 + motor car 9093 | © Ralf Wittenberg
Typical 3-axle Ghent tram, here no. 328 from 1929 | © Ralf Wittenberg
PCC tram 25, built new 1972 by La Brugeoise et Nivelles (BN / later Bombardier Transportation), Brugge + ACEC (Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi), today Alstom | © Ralf Wittenberg