métro léger de Charleroi

Belgium: SPIE and Equans take over the electro-technical modernisation of the Charleroi light railway

Published on 17 November 2023

Anderlecht, 17 November 2023SPIE Belgium, a subsidiary of the SPIE group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, and Equans have just won the public contract for the renovation and extension of the Châtelet branch of the Charleroi light railway. This project will expand the range of public transport available in urban areas and thereby reduce the environmental impact of road traffic in the region.

This public contract, with a total value of 15 million euro, was awarded to SPIE Belgium, in association with Equans, by the Transport Operator for Wallonia (Opérateur des Transports Wallons, OTW) and TEC. The work, which is set to start in 2024, will take around two and a half years to complete and will see the commissioning of eight new stations.

Renovation and extension

Originally, the Châtelet line (also known as line 5) consisted of six stations situated in the regions of Charleroi with high population density. Some of this work was carried out between 1975 and 1985. The present project aims to overhaul the existing infrastructure and extend the line as far as the Grand Hôpital de Charleroi hospital in Gilly. This extension will comprise eight stations(1), over a total length of 5.5 km, and should be operational by Q3 2026.

A range of cutting-edge techniques and technologies

From the study phase to commissioning, SPIE Belgium and Equans will use a range of technical skills, know-how and cutting-edge expertise to develop eight smart, automated stations, putting passenger mobility, safety and comfort at the forefront. The line will therefore be equipped with high- and low-voltage electricity lines, standard and safety lighting systems, a smoke extraction system and technical facilities fitted with heat pumps. Passengers will benefit from accurate, real-time information irrespective of events taking place on the line thanks to the remote control system. This is based on a fibre-optic communications network, backed by a data network, data cabinets, a CCTV system, DAB+ and FM radio capability and building automation. The communications network will also be equipped with Voice Alarm and Public Address technology to enable pre-planning of all possible scenarios and to link them to voice messages aimed at users.

"This project goes beyond simply modernising the transport infrastructure," explains Norman Kabir, Business Development Manager in the Infrastructure division of SPIE Belgium. "We are proud to be part of this project aiming to improve public transport and quality of life in Charleroi."


(1)The stations affected by the work are: Neuville, Yernaux, Pensée, Centenaire, Champeau, Roctiau, Corbeau and Viviers.