Did you know that Schaerbeek station is the only station in Brussels to be completely preserved?


In 1864, it was a small passenger station called "Halte Helmet", a simple hut made of planks. In 1871, the Ministry of Public Works decided to replace this station with a new one.  In 1887, Franz Seulen, an architect for the State Railways, drew up the plans for the new "revenue building" in the Flemish neo-Renaissance style. This style of architecture featured brick and stone elevations and characteristic shapes (gables, turrets, loggias, etc.). The combination of different materials (red brick, white stone, blue stone) produced a beautiful chromatic effect, in addition to the characteristic ironworks of this style. The station was opened to the public on 7 February 1889. It comprised four sections: one for administration (ticket offices and offices), one for passengers (waiting room and buffet), one for the technical installations and the last for the station master's accommodation.


In 1913, Seulen was again asked to draw up plans for a new wing on the existing building, in the same style as the first one, to accommodate an increasing amount of passengers and goods. It consisted of a large public lobby and several counters. Schaerbeek-Formation was an important hub for freight traffic for 50 years from 1930. In the 1930s, a "sanitary cell" was built in the marshalling yard due to the increasingly tense international situation. This bunker, which can still be seen today, served as a refuge for the station's staff. It should be remembered that during the bombings, from March to August 1944, 814 bombs fell on the station facilities, i.e. 87% of the explosive devices dropped onto the Brussels railways. From the end of the 1950s, it was the largest Belgian station for the departure of accompanied car trains, which were a comfortable way to reach a holiday destination. Trains to the ski resorts and those carrying pilgrims to Lourdes also left from Schaerbeek station. However, Schaerbeek station went into decline after 1980, following the expansion of road freight transport. The revenue building was listed on 10 November 1994. Passengers were becoming rarer and the counters were now automated. The station's ticket offices were closed in 2011. But Schaerbeek station was given a new lease of life in 2015 with the opening of the Train World Museum, an important destination for train lovers.


The most recent news from Schaerbeek station is the opening of the Train World Museum, built in September 2015 in the right wing of the station and designed by scenographer François Schuiten. It currently houses more than 1,250 items from the railway world. The creation of this museum also led to the old 1864 station being renovated and integrated into the museum.