Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Leuven trams

A tram between Brussels and Leuven at the stop of Moorselsteenweg.
Louvain is the French spelling of Leuven ("lions").  In 1912 the standard gauge line horse tram ceased and the metre-gauge electric tramway opened. In the course of time there were small expansions:

1926: to Korbeek-Lo and Heverlee (Kantien)
1927: electrification of Kessel-Lo to Linden
1932: electrification Terbank Bertem on the line to Tervuren
1934: Korbeek-Lo Lovenjoel
1934: electrification from Bertem to Tervuren
1937: Mechelsepoort to Herent
1940: Station to Lower Kessel

In 1937 the line between Vossem and Sterrebeek was electrified enabling direct electric tram services between Brussels and Leuven. In 1940 came connecting link between Vossem and Tervuren provided by a shuttle.
In 1938, Circle Line 4 was abolished between Mechelsepoort and Station. In 1952 all Leuven urban lines except line 1 were lifted and trams replaced by buses. In 1953 line 1 was also lifted along with the line to Jodoigne, which was operated with motor trams. The region continued to operate trams to Brussels. The line to Diest was electrified in 1952 from Linden (endpoint of town line 1) to Sint-Joris-Winge and in 1953 to Diest (station).  The Diest line was shortened in 1958 to Tielt. On 19 May 1961 the line was closed to Brussels on 31 March 1962 the last tram in Leuven - to Tielt - was closed.

The video shows longer distance, i.e. interurban, trams between Brussels Leuven and Diest.  One notes the PCC cars.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To the persion(s) behind the blog "transpress nz"

Just because "Leuven" is called "Löwen" in German doesn't mean that Leuven's medieval name,i.e. "Loven", means "the Lions". The etymology of "Loven" is not entirely clear. Many theories have been put forward, but none of them is conclusive. But it definitely has nothing to do with "lions", that much is for sure. It has been suggested that "Loven" might be derived the Indo-European root "leubh-", meaning "to love". But that seems rather unlikely to me. Julius Caesar mentions a Gaulish tribe that lived in the region of Leuven, the Levaci, and some believe that they are at the origin of "Loven". But again, I don't think it very likely, since "Loven" is a medieval name, which isn't mentioned before the 9th century, a long time after the Levaci had disappeared. In the 19th century, a historian from Leuven, Edward Van Even, suggested that "Loven" was a composition of two Germanic words: "lo" ("wood", "forest")and "ven" ("marsh", "fen"). In my opinion this thesis seems the most likely. But again: no certainty exists as to the origin of the medieval name "Lovon", "Loven", or the city's modern name "Leuven" (It is called "Louvain" in French and this was adopted in English).

Best wishes from someone who has lived in Leuven for many years.