EurekaRail is identifying the changes required for each of the five rail routes. In doing so, we are also examining the current transport flows – bikes, cars and public transport – in the various regions and the expected developments in the period up until 2030.
We are sharing the information obtained from the various investigations with as many parties as possible that influence cross-border rail travel. Specifically, this means that we are holding discussions with many parties at political and administrative level and giving presentations to present the ambitions and to share the results of the various investigations.
An important challenge for EurekaRail is organising cooperation. Strengthening and extending relationships is an important step in achieving unity. In this way, we can join forces within the border regions to achieve effective results.
The responsibilities for railways in the countries in question differ strongly. As a result, proper coordination is required between the Dutch central government and the province, the federal Belgian parliament, the Walloon and Flemish regions, the German federal government, the federal state and transport associations. In addition to public authorities, it is also important to ensure that the various rail managers and transport companies in the border regions are also moving in the same direction.
The investigations serve as preparation for the actual implementation of improvements on the railways in the border regions. On a number of routes, improved cross-border rail traffic will mean infrastructural interventions, such as electrification or extra track. The safety requirements and technical differences between the rail systems in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands will also have to be addressed.
In practical terms, this has already resulted in work starting on providing an extra track on the Heerlen to Landgraaf line, with the final goal being a direct intercity connection between Eindhoven, Heerlen, Aachen and Cologne and a direct train connection in the Liège, Maastricht and Aachen triangle.
Involving local stakeholders
With regard to the infrastructural interventions, close consultations will always be held with local residents and other parties involved.
The European Union recognises the importance of better train connections in border regions and has made funding available for this purpose. The regional authorities have also contributed.