Europalia Trains & Tracks

The Grand-Hornu became a symbol of the coal industry in the whole Hainaut and was also a fabulous technological laboratory. To develop its activities, its founder, Henri De Gorge, relied on the development of the railway and inaugurated one of the first horse-drawn railways in Europe in 1830. This railway was almost two kilometres long and linked the coal pits to the banks of the Mons-Condé canal. Far from stopping with this technical feat, De Gorge's descendants continued to develop the means of transport. They designed steam locomotives in the machine workshop and  finally an overhead haulage system at the beginning of the 20th century to increase coal production.

The train, generally associated with travel and poetry, took on an innovative and revolutionary character in this industrial world. Synonymous with economic opportunities and connections between countries and people, the railway will be celebrated at the Grand-Hornu from 14 October to 15 May 2022.

The Europalia programme of the Grand-Hornu includes :
− A historical conference on the theme of railways at le Grand-Hornu, "Chronology of an avant-garde project, the De Gorge railway in Hornu", given by Erick Lecomte – 17th October at 14:00
− Guided tours focusing on railway heritage – 7th November, 5th December, 2nd January, 6 February, 6th March, 3rd April and 1st May at 14:30
− A walk in the wake of Belgium’s first horse-drawn railway – 23rd April at 14:00
− A podcast about the “De Gorge plundering”

To discover the EUROPALIA TRAINS & TRACKS programme: