New cycle route along the 'Herentals-Balen' railway line

03 Jun 2022

Tractebel will provide the province of Antwerp with a new cycle route of +- 27km along the Herentals-Balen train line, one of the largest cycle track projects in the province of Antwerp. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

The province of Antwerp is planning the construction of the F105 cycle route along the Herentals-Balen railway line. This project concerns the realisation of a fast cycle route between Herentals and Leopoldsburg. The aim of this cycling motorway is to provide a safe, comfortable and smooth cycling connection between Herentals and Balen. The project is one of the largest cycle track projects in the province of Antwerp.

This cycle route mainly follows the railway line 15 and passes through the municipalities of Herentals, Olen, Geel, Mol and Balen. The total length of the route is +/- 27 km, of which approximately 19 km of new cycle paths will be built.
The existing cycle track infrastructure will be inserted into the new route. This new cycle path will follow the level of the adjacent railway line. In some places, retaining walls with a gabion finish will be provided to compensate for differences in level with the existing terrain. Where the railway line crosses existing watercourses or roads, the cycle path will also cross them. Based on these crossings, 9 bridges and 2 bicycle tunnels will be built as part of the project. In addition, various culverts that run under the railway line will also be renewed.
The project contains complex elements such as the construction of long-span bridges, the redevelopment of a bicycle tunnel under the railway and the Geel ring road. The estimated completion date is 2024.

Tractebel is responsible for supervising the construction of the track along the Herentals-Geel-Mol-Balen railway line, from design to completion.
The assignment includes the drawing up of plans for the construction of the fire line along the railway line, the drawing up of the tender documents and the control and supervision of the execution of the works and the complete administrative handling of the works, as well as the coordination of safety, both in the design and execution phase. The assignment also included the drafting of reports on the soil and geotechnical studies.

For the section of the cycle track from Herentals station to the Vaartstraat (N18) in Balen, the province itself commissioned a route study in which the location of the cycle tracks in front of the railway line was already determined. For the section from Vaartstraat to Balen to the provincial border, the route study is part of Tractebel's mission.

Especially for the many commuter cyclists and schoolchildren pedalling to Mol and back every day, this bicycle highway will become a fast and safe alternative for the busy N18 (Vaartstraat-Molsesteenweg). Once the project is completed, a smooth cycling link between Herentals and Leopoldsburg will be created.
This smooth and safe cycle path will ensure a modal shift and will allow cyclists to travel longer distances to work or to school, thus reducing the number of cars in traffic. Recreational cyclists will also be able to take advantage of these connections. 


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