The oldest Belgian railway station


On 5 May 1835, three passenger trains set off from the north of Brussels in the direction of Mechelen; they left from Allée Verte station, the departure point for the first passenger trains on the European continent. The 900 enthusiastic trailblazers reached their destination after 50 minutes of shaking and exhilaration.

The first barracks used as a railway station, hastily built in 1835, were located between the suburb of Laeken and the Allée Verte promenade, near Willebroek canal. It was a simple enclosure with a wooden pavilion in which an employee issued tickets. At the time, the Allée Verte was where the whole of society Brussels went for a walk, and was complete with dance halls, cabarets and dairies.


However, it began to lose its charm due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. In addition, the small station soon became overcrowded and cramped as a result of the enormous success of the railways. Instead of extending it, a new station was built, the Jardin botanique station (future Brussels North). From November 1841, passenger traffic was redirected to this new station. Allée Verte station would still receive freight traffic and a large warehouse was built there.


In July 1920, the station again opened to passengers, due to the future construction of the Nord-Midi junction and, later, due to the raising of Bruxelles-Nord station. The very last train left the station on 16 January 1954. The installations were demolished between 1954 and 1958 to create the Bruxelles-Allée verte heliport, in anticipation of Expo '58. Maximilian Park now occupies the former site of our very first station.