Valenciennes (France) – Mons (Belgium) is a nightmare by train currently, requiring long detours via either Lille or Maubeuge. The more direct route between the two cities and onwards to Bruxelles – via Crespin and Quiévrain – is currently not possible as 2km of track are missing at the border. This means that Valenciennes, location of the European Union Agency for Railways, has no convenient connection to Belgium. Even the Quévy border – easier for Mons – has no passenger trains at present.
What needs to be done: initially run passenger trains at the Quévy border (there are tracks there), ideally with a train every two hours, allowing connections at either Aulnoye or Maubeuge for Valenciennes, and medium term rehabilitate the line via Quiévrain as well
European Commission Analysis
In 2018 the European Commission published its “Comprehensive analysis of the existing cross-border rail transport connections and missing links on the internal EU borders”. The main report (74 pages, PDF) summarises the issues, and Annex 3 of the report (384 pages, PDF) analysed every single border.
For the sake of simplicity, I have made a PDF just of the relevant pages of Annex 3 that cover Valenciennes-Mons – you can find that PDF here.
Photos from this location