Train connections between important economic centres like Eindhoven and Aachen/Cologne and Eindhoven and Düsseldorf leave a lot to be desired. At present, passengers on both routes have to change trains, so that a train journey between these cities costs a great deal of time. EurekaRail is therefore pressing for faster through train connections.

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.

Actions required

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.

In Germany

  • 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.