three-country train, the number one connection between people, cities and cultures

EurekaRail is working to bring about the Three-Country Train: a single through train connection between Liège, Maastricht, Heerlen and Aachen. An attractive cross-border public transport alternative that will link the core economic centres in the border region, offering many advantages for, for instance, commuters, student exchange, culture enthusiasts and family visits. At the same time, it will create an excellent connection for international passengers between the Dutch rail network and the international high-speed lines starting in Aachen and Liège.

Current situation regarding Liège – Maastricht – Heerlen – Aachen

  • Liège – Maastricht operated by SNCB 1x per hour
  • Maastricht – Heerlen operated by Arriva, 2x per hour a fast train and 2x per hour a slow train
  • Heerlen – Herzogenrath operated by Euregiobahn 1x per hour
  • Herzogenrath – Aachen – Run by various German operators

In short, a fragmented service is currently available that is run by various transport companies. Passengers on this route must change several times and the timetables often lack coordination. The individual companies also have their own ticket types and sales channels.

Desired situation

Seamless travel with as starting point:

  • a single fast, frequent and comfortable connection, without changes
  • information point where passengers can find all relevant details for the entire route at a glance
  • an attractive, easy method to purchase a ticket that is valid on all parts of the chosen route

EurekaRail is encouraging consultations between the many parties involved and is providing information about the required infrastructural, technical and equipment-related adjustments.

Efforts required

  • Agreements with transport companies about the operation
  • The use of tri-current rolling stock.
    • The trains must be suitable for running in the various countries where different voltages apply: varying from 1,500 to 15,000 volts.
    • The trains must also be equipped with the correct safety systems for the various countries.
  • Infrastructural activities
    • Electrification of the Landgraaf – Herzogenrath line
    • Extra track on the Heerlen – Landgraaf route
    • The line must be electrified for several hundred metres from the German border to Herzogenrath.
  • To upscale the timetable to 2x per hour:
    • Extra train path Herzogenrath – Aachen
    • Extra train path Maastricht – Visé – Liège


  • The European Union has made more than 28 million euros available for the track doubling and electrification on the Landgraaf – Herzogenrath line.
  • In the context of the Limburg public transport concession, Arriva has purchased eight tri-current trains which, pending the results of the negotiations, can be used on the Three-Country Train line from December 2018. Thanks to a through train, i.e. without having to change, and a pilot with a generally valid ticket, this will mean shorter travelling times and more comfort for passengers.