Brussels joined other world cities with a state-financed underground railway on Monday (20 September) when King Baudouin inaugurated its first line.
SV PAN Mural in underground railway station, Brussels, TO officials awaiting arrival of King Baudouin.
SV King walks along platform and cheered.
SVS King and party on escalator and walking along platform. (2 shots)
SV King cuts ribbon
SV Woman pours champagne over train.
CUS Train leaves ZOOM TO CU bag-pipers playing and King and officials watching. (3 shots)
SVS AND TOP VIEW King and party walk towards train and go aboard. (3 shots)
SV King sitting inside train.
SVS Crowd boarding train pulling out. (3 shots)
Initials VS 16.15
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Brussels joined other world cities with a state-financed underground railway on Monday (20 September) when King Baudouin inaugurated its first line.
SYNOPSIS: The station chosen for the inauguration had a little extra decoration added for the visit of the King. The new trains can carry up to 1,200 passengers - each compartment in two-way communication with the driver. The carriages and drivers compartment are built to the most up-to-date standards of safety and comfort.
Instead of breaking the traditional bottle of champagne, the bottle was opened and the champagne poured over the first passenger train to use the service. The ceremony was accompanied by bag-pipe music played as the train pulled out of the station.
The King then travelled on one of the first underground trains. For the moment, the service will be run over a Y-shaped length of track 10 kilometres (6 miles) long. Eventually, the Belgian government hopes to put into operation 60-kilometres (40 miles) of underground railway track servicing brussels. Before the service was hours old, underground officials found they were faced with some of the same problems common to similar services in London, Paris, Tokyo or New York....too many passengers and too few trains. As travel was free on opening day, the situation was aggravated by thousands of joy-riding schoolchildren fighting for places with rush-hour commuters.