bottlenecks and support

The EurekaRail project organisation first identified the bottlenecks (see infographic) and worked with administrators, politicians, government officials and immediate stakeholders to create support for potential solutions. An essential element of this effort was an analysis of the costs and benefits for society. What does a cross-border rail connection cost, and how would a properly functioning international rail network benefit the economy and the environment? What growth can we expect in the number of train travellers on the various routes? The answers to these questions are extremely positive.

The common themes in all of EurekaRail’s work are connecting partners and specialists, finding sources of funding and sharing knowledge. Over the past six years, some important concrete results have been achieved that motivate everyone involved to continue working to realise cross-border train connections. There is still plenty of work to do, but the essential first steps have been taken; international train connections in the border regions have made tangible improvements.

The bottlenecks

Bottleneck 1: A direct rail connection between Eindhoven – Venlo -Mönchengladbach – Düsseldorf.
To accelerate this connection, technical interventions are needed on the tracks at Eindhoven station and 12 kilometres of double-track line must be laid between Kaldenkirchen and Dülken.

Bottleneck 2: A direct Intercity connection between Eindhoven – Heerlen – Aachen.
This route needs a double-track electrified rail line between Heerlen and Landgraaf. Interventions are also needed in Germany, near Herzogenrath and Aachen.

Bottleneck 3: A rail connection between Brussels – Liège – Maastricht.|
This will require the current commuter rail connection between Liège and Maastricht to be scaled up to an Intercity connection that runs every half hour. It will also require changes to the rolling stock.

Bottleneck 4: A better connection between Antwerp – Hamont – Weert.
This route requires nine kilometres of electrification inside the Netherlands.

Bottleneck 5: A better connection between Roosendaal – Antwerp.
The Intercity service from Brussels – Antwerp – Essen would have to be expanded to include Roosendaal. During the Thalassa summit, the Belgian and Dutch governments agreed to take steps after the rollout of ERTMS to improve the connection by increasing the frequency of service or by increasing the commercial speed. An action plan is currently being drawn up together with the region.