Le Métro Léger de Charleroi
Monday 30 September 2002, Group Expo with
Ben, Panic and Petr.
In the 1960-ties Charleroi (Belgium)
planned an impressive tram/metro system, consisting of a circle
around the city-centre with spokes going to all the suburbs. Lots
of money went into building it. For all kinds of reasons only part
of it ever went into operation. Most important reason however is
that exploitation of the now abandoned lines would cost far more
then the income would ever be, Charleroi actually being to small
to support a full metro system.
Looking for a map of the city -we
only had a map of the actual and planned metro system-, we somehow
ended up on the basement floor of the town hall. Later Petr went
back to shoot some video of it and I followed him. On our way out
we met someone on the stairs who we cheerfully greeted. He only
greeted us back and luckily didn't ask any questions.
We bought an expensive streetmap,
which only showed the active metrolines. Weird, because the impressive
viaduct is a real landmark. They are probably a bit ashamed of the
metro-blunder. In the text about the metro system we brought along
the two lower spokes were not mentioned, so we figured they were
probably never build. These two are the most interesting, as they
are both completely in tunnels. Panic pointed to a place on the
map were the tunnelentrance could be, but we decided to play save
first and tried to find the eastern spoke.
The first four stations are completely
finished and the next three roughly finished. We headed for the
first station, Neuville, through the maze of the city with it's
sneaky traffic, and ended up at the second station, Chet. We found
it by following a railway viaduct which we found suspicious because
it wasn't on the map.
We were not very lucky at this station
however. A cameracrew was very interested in a small house next
to the track. A police officer was too at first, but later became
interested in us. And on top of this some workcrew started working
on some cables at the metro track. Petr managed to get the cameracrew
interested in UE and gave them his mobile phone number.