Current situation: travelling time of almost 3 hours with at least 3 changes.
On the Eindhoven to Cologne route via Heerlen too, EurekaRail is working on a shorter journey time and more comfort. At present, this route involves a journey of about 2 hours and 40 minutes with at least 3 changes.
Desired situation: a fast through train connection without having to change
Short-term goal: a good train connection with a shorter journey time and fewer changes.
For this connection, three alternatives are being considered.
- Through intercity/regional express Eindhoven – Heerlen – Aachen – Cologne. Reduction of approx. 15 minutes in travelling time.
- Intercity Eindhoven – Aachen with a change in Aachen for Cologne. Reduction of approx. 15 minutes in travelling time (including 1 change).
- A third possibility is currently being worked on: the Three-Country Train, a single train connection that will link Liège, Maastricht, Heerlen and Aachen.
In the Netherlands
- Track doubling and electrification between Heerlen and Landgraaf are required. A budget has been made available for this purpose by the Province of Limburg, Parkstad Limburg, the State and the EU.
- Greater capacity is needed at Eindhoven station so that more trains can be received.
- Infrastructural adjustments are required to the track, platforms and electrification in the Herzogenrath-Aachen region.
In connection with various on-going concessions, it is expected that this route could be optimised at intercity level by about 2025. The Three-Country Train will be ready for operation in December 2018.