bread-dilivery vans and truckstour 58 renault & simca

110 hectares of parking facilities for Expo 58

Expo logo on a Sabena DC4/6

dafodiloldtimer van at esplanade

Expo Mobiles

Expo mobiles

 

This chapter will deal with all kinds of transportation possibilities people could use to reach the fair and to explore it once they were there. As an oldtimer collector I have special interest for fifties motoring because the colourful mishmash of transport in that decade.

 

Most of the Belgians came by train, tram, bus and car while many foreigners made use of aviation and the early helicopter services offered by Sabena, the national airline company in Belgium.

Almost 2 000 000 cars, 60 000 motorcycles an 40 000 busses found a parking place around the fair and at the Expo parkings.

 

Visitors could explore the fair by cable-lift, three-wheeler or Expo-train. Twenty of these trains were specially built for the fair. Trains with pneumatic tyres were very unique in that days. About ten million visitors used the Expo-trains.

 

The cable-lift transfered 165 oval-shaped gondolas over a 4 kilometres long traject and marked the main roads of the exhibition terrrain. There were 3 stations and each gondola offered two floating persons, 6 metres high, a splendid overview.

 

Many pousse-pousses chuged all over the Expo site with two passengers and one driver on board. This moped based threewheeler was very noisy and not easy to drive. So, small daily accidents were bound to happen at the world fair.

 

Expo buildings were used by professional photographers as background for their promotional car shots. Pavilions like USA, USSR and France showed modern automobile technique together with their gliming cars. Even the John Cobb’s record car, the Railton Mobil Special, could be admired in the Brittish industrie pavilion.

 

A lot of rolling based events were organised at the world fair site. Once there was a scooterclub who had a meeting in the folklore section.This noisy and very smoky happening was in sharp contrast with the restful historical buildings.

 

The well known bi-cycle race "Tour de France", edition 1958, had its start at the main square of the folklore section.

A real apex for this section was the international rally for oldtimers with departure and arrival in Cheerful Belgium. Afterwards, traditional dressed drivers and their company showed the cars at the Esplanade Square.

 

In the Belgium section, people could visit the pavilion of transportation. The Caravelle airplane was a real eyecather but the historical branch of aviation showed some very interesting oldtimer planes.

Next to this pavilion, a 5 tracks wide platform deployed different electric and diesel locs together with modern wagons and other railway material.

 

But we may not forget the rolling stock that was needed to built up Expo 58. Remember the specially adapted transport of the Atomium bipods, the bulldozers, trucks and cranes to level out the exhibition terrrain, the countless trainloads which had to be transported by truck to the Expo site and the daily delivery transport to keep things going during the fair.

 

expo parkingsabena airplaineexpo-trainscable-lift with twinswaiting pousse-pousse driverpousse-poussemercedes 300sl roadsteroldtimer driver with womanscooter club in cheerful belgiumtrains at the transport pavilionexpo-trainroyal cadillacwomen with oldtimer in cheerful belgium

Each Expo- train offered 70 seats and it took 30 minutes to do the 5 kilometres long traject. 10 Belgium Francs had to be paid for a ride

Bad road-holding caused Pousse-pousses to topple down

The Tour De France direction while posing in front of the folklore section

Not only this charming twin used the cable-lift.

More than

3 000 000 visitors prefered this kind of Expo tranport

A  gorgeous Mercedes 300SL in front of the USA-pavilion … and a Dutch DAF near the Atomium

Left: critical inspection of a Zil limosine in the Sovjet pavilion

Events like an oldtimer rally and a scooter meeting took place in the  folklore section

Citroën, Mercedes and VW vans, together with DAF trucks were used by Expo-bread delivery

cable-lift animationpeugeot 403 taxi

An oldtimer Hot-Dog mobile in the folklore section.

Left: A Jaguar flyer from the British Industry pavilion

atomium transportmga advertisementzil inspection

Click picture to enlarge

Expo parking sign

Trains for the pavilion of transport came to Belgium by rail. From Jette station they had to be transported by articulated vehicle. Mostly these exceptional

 transports were organised by night.

Adapted car-a-van versions of the Opel Olympia were used by the emergency services

Transport of an Atomium bipod amid great public interest

Small toy’s for the kids and big toy’s for daddy:

The Mercedes stand in the German pavilion

Not only Mercedes trains at the world fair. Here a very rare VW combination

Sikorsky helicopters took visitors from the Melsbroek airport to the Heysel Heliport and vice versa. Also there were maiden flights for the Expo visitors.

Busses and  taxi’s like this Peugeot 403 could use the specially adapted terminals at the Grand Palace Gate

 

Other picture shows the Transport of the 33 metres high Expo mast