For the north/south connection between Brussels and Amsterdam, two new 1,211-meter-long tunnels were built to the historic "Antwerpen Central" station in the center of the Belgian metropolis of Antwerp. From 2007 the "Thalys" express train roars through the tubes. Construction work saw the main rail station of the Belgian city of one million inhabitants converted from a terminus to a through station. Under one of the metro lines two tunnels are excavated and lined with segments.
The 820-tonne-heavy and 58-meter-long Mixshield drove through ground composed mainly of fine sands with shell deposits. Buildings and structures tunnelled under in the center of Antwerp included the "Astrid Plein", "Astrid Park Plaza Hotel", a multi-storey car-park and operational metro tunnels. The "Zandvreter" (sand eater) - the name for the Mixshield for the first tube - was started up at the end of September 2002. As early as February 19, 2003, the S-209 Mixshield had finished excavating the first tunnel and had reliably accomplished breakthrough.
On tunnelling the first tube, the Mixshield came up with advance rates per week of up to 121.5 meters. On May 3, 2003 the shield with the gantry coupled on, took up tunnelling for the second tube. Within a short period, the boring giant - now named "Krabbekoker" (scraper can) – chalked up a weekly best performance of 123 meters. Breakthrough of the second tunnel occurred on September 8, 2003.