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Obscurity

Belgium Metro Leger Charleroi, Linge Châtelet, Feb 2016

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Metro Leger Charleroi, Linge Châtelet,

 

So when most people mention a trip exploring in Europe followed by the words ‘exploring Metro’, the first thing that springs to most people’s minds are the Parisian Metro or maybe Berlins system. Equally a mention of Pre-metro would usually suggest a trip to Antwerp. But here we have another form of Pre-Metro system which although not as amazing or thrilling as others still deserves a mention and some attention.

 

 

History:

 

The metro line of Charleroi was planned in the 1960s as a 52-km light rail network, operating on heavy rail metro infrastructure which is prominent throughout the area providing services for the large industrial sites as well as pedestrian services. There were plans for eight lines and 69 stations radiating from a central loop downtown.

 

1974 saw the start of this venture as construction of the lines began; however 15 years later, only three lines are in use. The Petria line, a part of the Gilly line, and three-quarters of the loop were actually built and opened to traffic. 

The low population and dying industry of Charleroi, coupled with the high costs of construction leaving questions of the lines profitability. This means that the branch to Châtelet although fully completed; was never placed in service and the platforms remain dormant since their construction. It is unlikely that this section will ever now open.  

 

The line is 6,8 kilometers long with 8 stations. Neuville, Chet, Pensee, Centenaire, Champeau, Corbeau, Trieux and last station Chatelet. Located at the end of the tracks is the only underground station Centenaire which was finished in 1985. From here starts a long concrete trench filled with garbage, trees and bushes leading to what would have been the final 4 stations although these were never completed and there is nothing really to see here.

 

 

Explore:

 

I had been looking at this for a while and had seen photos from around 2009 from a UK explorer blog and found a load of HDR photos on google but nothing recent. We stuck it on the map with a few possible access points accepting that by now it may have been demolished or converted.

 

We decided to aim for the underground station first and then walk the line until we join the loop to the live Waterloo station. After a little wait for an area of pavement to clear we made our way down to the tracks and towards the first station.

I don’t understand why I haven’t seen more photos from these four stations or heard of many taking the time to visit. This place was well worth a look and better than we had expected.

 

 

Centenaire

 

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Pensee

 

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Chet

 

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Neuville

 

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From here there is a short cut and cover section to Waterloo station. We had been warned about security here and police response so didn’t hang around long as there was nowhere to hide from the oncoming drivers and we also noticed CCTV cameras too but managed to get a quick photo before making our exit from the tracks.

 

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Thanks for looking :thumb

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9 hours ago, The_Raw said:

Quality mate, haven't seen this before, looks like the graffers are well aware of it though :D

 

:comp:

 

Yeah the writers look as though they use it as a playground now. Some of the graffiti was really impressive though. I first saw it pop up on Winchesters blog I think '09, but that's the only proper report I have found on the place. Since then it seems to have dropped off the radar.

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