preparation of the connections between germany and the netherlands

To prepare for fast comfortable train connections between the south of the Netherlands and Germany, significant measures are being adopted. In addition to the Three-country train that will link Liège, Maastricht, Heerlen and Aachen, EurekaRail is focusing on two important routes:

Proper consultation

Achieving better connections on these routes involves a large number of government organisations at various levels. In the Netherlands these include the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Province of Noord–Brabant, the Province of Limburg and in Germany the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Transport, the Rhineland Suburban Transport Association (NVR) and the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association (VRR). In both countries and at the various administrative levels, there is a clear political desire to establish good cross-border train connections


As various organisations are active in rail transport and rail management in both countries, an international consortium has been set up. This is intended to bring together all rail-related parties and to jointly create a suitable timetable.

Detailed analysis

On the instructions of EurekaRail, a detailed analysis has been made to identify the physical facilities required on both routes and to determine the extra capacity requirements on what are already busy lines. On both routes, we are working to ensure that the international technical differences, such as the various voltages used (in Germany 25kV, in the Netherlands 1,500V) and train safety systems, will not present any obstacles to trains running.

Eindhoven railwaystation Foto: Sunny Gardeur

Track capacity is decisive

The feasibility studies for the Eindhoven – Düsseldorf route show that the available track capacity, in particular, will be decisive. In this context, about 30 different solutions have now been investigated, ranging from a cross-border high-speed line to a Sprinter connection. On the basis of feasibility optimisation, the preparations are now focusing on two remaining options, based on ‘intertwining’ the Dutch intercity timetable with the German RE13 regional express.

Three alternatives

For the Eindhoven – Heerlen – Cologne route, three alternatives are still being considered in which the Eindhoven – Heerlen intercity is integrated with or linked to a regional express.