The new bridge over the river Sambre is now in place.
2nd: Thanks of
the European FEDER subsidies granted in April 2001 and the construction of
our Discovery Centre in 2002-4, it has been possible to negotiate the
building of a new bridge, combining a RAVeL bike track and a segregated tram
track. In collaboration with the MET (Ministère de l’Equipement et des
Transports), the regional transport company TEC/SRWT, the SNCB, and the local
towns. The ASVi group contributes Euros 100,000 in this unique project,
allying public authorities and the ASVi group. The new bridge initiates a new
RAVeL bike trail linking Lobbes, Thuin and Chimay, along the defunct railway
line nr 109.
March 19th: The old tram bridge, built over the river Sambre, has been lifted last night. The old bridge. A wide platform was prepared for the crane. An enormous crane was built on the premises (1). (2) (3) (4) Meanwhile, work continues at Thuin. The lifting operation (1) (2) (3) (4). The mock-up of the new bridge. Drawing (1) (2) (3).
October 30th: The old water tank of the Vossem station is preserved. Our magazine “l’Etincelle” is describing in detail this unique preservation. The ASVi group will be able to rebuild a complete water tank, as an original crane, levers and a water meter have been saved in Thuillies. Vossem during the steam days. Vossem in the fifties. The move is being prepared. Old tubes are cut. The water tank is lifted. Family picture of the movers. The previous owner sits in the middle. Delivery at Thuin. The finishing touch: last works regarding the diamond junction at Thuin. Tuning of the levers.
September – October: After excellent Patrimony Days in early September, the season is now over. The old buffer from the line 80 terminus at Maurage is now in place. Work in progress : the levers of the ancient points are refurbished and swiftly put in place. Positioning the lever of our mixed gauge point. Transport of the levers. Levers soldering. Painting. The whole junction to the museum is nearly ready, with ancient points and a diamond crossing.
August 14th and 15th 2004: The recently opened Discovery has welcomed a large crowd last weekend. Numerous trams were put in services, in order to highlight the various aspects of the Vicinal. Historical collections, the multi media PC, old films and guided tours contributed to the discovery of the vicinal by the public. In short, a successful programme mixing a day in the open air and a lot of action. Departure of the goods tram. The diesel car ART300 and its wagons. The motor car 9515 at Thuin (Ville Basse). The diesel car AR 86 and its trailer A.2121 at Thuin (Ville Basse). The diesel car AR 86 at the river Sambre bridge. The new bridge is under construction, its installation is scheduled for the fall of this year.
June 14th: Last preparation work. Test of the multi media PC. Two thousand tram pictures and postcards can be selected at will with the following criteria : city, province, photographer, year, type of rolling stock. The largest part of these documents can be printed for the visitors of the Discovery Centre.
June 8th 2004: the Minister Daerden signs the order for the new tram bridge. This bridge will be completed by year-end! Family picture: the old bridge, the tram, the Minister, representatives of Lobbes, Thuin, the MET, the engineering company Aries and the Board of the ASVi club. The Minister unveils a commemorative board. The bridge mock-up. Drawing 1. Drawing 2. Drawing 3.
June 8th: last pavement works. We will be ready, just in time!
June 5th: the small platform has received a typical fence. Please note the letter V standing for Vicinal, and the B for Buurtspoorwegen. The track works are nearly complete. The scenography will be great !
May 15th 2004: General assembly of the ASVi club, presentation of the diesel car AR86 and various achievements. First use of the welcome area with the members.
April-May: track works are going on. Track damper in action. Rail holders. The new passengers platform. Track view. Further progress of the display exhibit: Tram stop. Welcome space. Glass displays. Steam engine headlamp.
March 14th: after the last interruptions due to snow and frost, the track works are moving again. A great thank to the volunteers (Bernard, Jean-Marie, Roland, Georges et Philippe) and to the Baix company, who are working despite the cold weather. The diamond junction will form the curb of a passing loop. A mixed gauge point - assembly in progress. The switch point on the main line - nearly finished. Preparation of rail shoes (ex SNCV Brussels network)
September 20th: The diamond junction originating from the SNCV depot of La Roue (Brussels) is being refurbished. In combination with a mixed gauge changing point, it will be used to connect the front end of the Discovery Center. The track construction work will start this winter and will be completed early 2004.
May 17th: A part of the track crossing of Courcelles Trieux will be exhibited inside the new museum. It is cleaned by an ASVi volunteer. This hard work is supported by the music of the Saint Roch celebrations (Film of 0,7 Mbits !). The construction of the museum progresses as planned: the walls of the lobby are ready and the pavement is being prepared.
May 10th: The first full-scale test of our electric substation has taken place. They are completely successful! ! ! Finally the 600Volts works! ! ! The first car to be tested was 9515. Film of putting the pantograph on the wire. (! 1 MB) Film of the first trial of 9515 under power (! 1 MB). The second car to be tested was the Standard 10308. Film of the trials of 10308 (! 1 MB) The third car to be tested was the PCC car.
Tram service: No trams will be running by May 18th, due to the Saint Roch celebrations. Diesel cars will be running May 25th. The first electric service open to the public is scheduled for June 1rst, according to a last technical visit by the SRWT.
April 12th: The overhead wire is in place above track 2 of the workshop, with ART 300, the overhead maintenance trailer and the motorcar 9515. Thuillies depot is now completely rubble cleaned. Move of wheel sets from Thuillies to Thuin.
March 29th: Transfer by road of the motorcar 10284 type “Eugies” to Thuin. First time in the open air after 11 years of storage. First wheel on the loading incline. Loading under way. On the road trailer. Arrival at Thuin, in the middle of the traffic of rue de la Couture. Shunting with diesel car ART300. On the level crossing. On its way to the museum. Ready for a clean up of the body. With a cleaner on the top of the Eugies, side by side with 9515. Movie 1: Gozée. Movie 2: Down the road trailer. Movie3: To the museum.
March 15th: The new tracks have been successfully tested by the heavy autorail ART300. One changing point still needs some fine-tuning. Some points welding. Two tracks are now connected, view of ART 300 inside the museum.
Between February 6th and March 11th: February 6th, preparation of the connecting tracks. March 6th, overview of the spur. The main switch between tracks 2 and 3. The ballast is being put in place. Saturday March 6th, the active members of the club are checking the points.
February 8th: The loading of luggage van 2354 is being prepared in
Gosselies. On the motorway to Thuin (picture). On the motorway to Thuin (movie 780 KB !!). Manoeuvres in Thuin. The first car is now in the Centre de Découverte du Chemin
de Fer Vicinal !!!! The
complete operation started at 8:00 and was finished at 12:45.
Same story for the mixed car 2121: Car loading in Gosselies (picture). Down to the tracks of Thuin ! Two cars in the brand new museum ! This heavy work was finished by 16:30, time for a short celebration drink !
January 2003: the restoration works of AR 86 are progressing well. After a complete reconstruction, it looks like a tram again. AR 86 will be the only autorail in original state, as built in the 30’s. It will feature visible truck, no ballast, high-speed gears, no roller blinds, etc.
December 12th 2002: The Walloon Government has decided to authorize a second subsidy allowing to finalize the Centre de Découverte du Chemin de Fer Vicinal. Interior works, floors, reception area, lavatories, upper floor, scenography, scenery all is included. Total subsidy: 591.251€. The share of our club is 65.595€. Interior works would take place from March until June 2003. Scenography by end 2003. Public opening: Spring 2004.
November 27th: About 45 tons of long awaited track equipment has been transferred from Anderlues to Thuin. The last 32 kilo/meter rails (for the main line maintenance), a stock of light rails (+/- 40 kilo/meter for the construction of the front connection tracks), straight and curved grooved rails (required for the back connection tracks), four old water drains, six Vignole points and crossings. Some of this equipment has been donated by the SRWT; some has been bought at low price from the TEC. Thank you again to both companies.
September 14th: The four tracks of the museum are equipped with rails. Part of the sleepers were used on line 80, at Bascoup (Etoile), the rest is new. The rails are originating from line 30 (between Morlanwelz (Gare) and the tram tunnel). Preparation of future changing points of the museum (originating from line 41, in front of Trazegnies depot)
July 12-13-14th: Installation of the brand new trolley wires between Thuin (rue de la Couture) and the museum site. One thousand meters of trolley wire are delivered Friday 12th. View at the end of the line. View from the top of the overhead maintenance tower. Film 1 ( ! 430 KB to download). Film 2 ( ! 794 KB to download).
June 29th: transfer of the PCC car to Anderlues. The tracks in Lobbes (Quatre Chemins) needed some cleaning. The 10,500 Volt feeding equipment has been placed in our power sub-station. Re-installation of the feeder cable. Overhead works are completed between Thuin (Ville Basse) and Anderlues. The overhead wire of Thuin (Ouest) will be put in place in the coming days. This is the last work required before the re-instatement of the 600V !
May 18th: The wagon A8409 gets a well-deserved coat of paint. May 14th: Arrival in Thuin of the match wagon A.8409. This type of wagon was used on mixed gauge tracks and had one tram buffer and two large railway buffers. Trams could pull railways wagons. It was built in 1905 by Tyberchamps and used first on the Clavier routes. It was used lately in the Anderlues depot. This wagon was used when the ASVI PCC 109409 arrived from Yugoslavia.
April 27th: The feeder cable of the electric power station is being prepared (1). Put in place (2). The tower wagon goes back home (3). The track bed is being prepared inside the museum building. View of the gardens of Thuin, facing the museum. Vineyards have been recently planted.
April 24th 2002: The bid for the tracks to be laid inside the new museum and for the link with the main line has been launched. The offers are due by May 31rst. The construction works will start in September.
April 12th: Installation of the new AEG transformer inside our new sub-station. The new feeder grid will be tested in Dison by April 16th and subsequently installed in Thuin. The second-hand ex-SNCV rectifier, section and measure cupboards were painted April 13th. The 600V power will be back soon!!!
January 30th: The foundations of the museum are completed. December 3rd: The construction works of the Centre de Découverte du Chemin de Fer Vicinal have started. It will shelter about 25 trams. The ground works have started in Thuin. More than 300 tons of rails and points have been sorted out, moved and stored in new places. The building includes a large exhibition space with high quality scenography. Track design: existing tracks in red, new tracks in purple.
November 3rd: All of the overhead line grips are in place on the main line of Thuin (Ouest). The double overhead lines will allow trolley and pantograph operation. Brand new brass grips have been bought from the Swiss company Kummler & Matter allowing trolley operation, in conjunction second-hand brass grips, arms and insulators from dismantled SNCV lines. The equipment is put in place with a tower wagon. Rails are being fitted for the continuity of the electric power. Test of the quality of the connections.
October 23rd: In agreement with the MET (ministry of equipment and transport), SRWT/TEC (transport), the Town of Thuin and the ASVi group, studies have been launched for the extension of the tramway to Biesmes-sous-Thuin, in conjunction with a RAVeL footpath.
April 26th: Arrival of a SNCV overhead maintenance truck at Thuin, made in 1947 by Bovy-Pipe (a Belgium truck maker). It got first the number AE46, then number 36336 in 1956, then number 7641 in 1976 and was probably withdrawn in 1981, at Destelbergen. It was used to maintain tramway overhead lines in the Gent area. Similar trucks were used at Antwerp and Charleroi. It is now completely restored and displayed in the museum. Just out of the workshops in 1947. As found. During the restoration works. Fine tuning of the mobile platform. Trials at Thuin (1). Trials at Thuin (2).
April 12th: We are receiving a subsidy of 40,5 millions Belgian francs in order to build the second barn of the "Centre de Découverte du Vicinal à Thuin". The total cost is estimated at 45 million BEF (+/- 1,1 million Euros, or 1 million USD).
February 21rst: The SRWT is giving to the ASVi group about 2 kilometres of track (with sleepers), 54 electric masts and 6 track points. This equipment will be used for the construction of the second building of Thuin and the extension of the tramway to Biesmes-sous-Thuin.
February 6th/7th 2001: The cable connecting the substation and the track is being laid ( - ). Preparation of the master switch ( + ) and the sub-station control signals. A cable protection is placed. The mast is put in place. The 600V rectifier and other electrical parts in our sub-station.
December 2000: A 600V rectifier and other electrical parts have been transferred to Thuin, in order to equip the power station. This equipment is coming from the electric sub-station of Binche (ex-line 90). Additional spare parts have been saved from the electric sub-station of Goegnies (also ex-line 90). Inside the electric sub-station of Goegnies.
November: The body of the motorcar A. 9385 has been saved. The body is in excellent condition. This is the only car of this batch to be preserved by ASVi and it fills a gap between the oldest electric car wholly produced in Belgium (A. 9073), and batches of trams produced during W.W.I (A. 9515). View of the crane works. It is stored at the LOCOREM workshops, ready for complete rehabilitation. Many thanks to P.E. Brohée, who has organized this preservation!
October: The building of our electric power station is finished. The electrical parts, including a new 11000V-600V transformer have been ordered to the company AEG. All masts for the new overhead line of Thuin have been put in place. Preparing the last base. Drawings of the sub-station.
July-August: Our historic overhead maintenance wagon is being restored this summer (restoration of iron fences, coat of original brown colour). Various track works have taken place this summer as well.
October 1rst 1999: The official opening of the museum took place at 15:00, in presence of the regional Minister of Transports, Mobility and Energy, Sir José Daras and the senior members of the City Council of Thuin.