Unique coalition for direct intercity Den Haag – Düsseldorf
Published: 5 February 2019 Most recent change: 5 February 2019
A unique coalition of the municipalities The Hague, Rotterdam, Breda, Eindhoven, the provinces of Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant and the Economic Board Zuid-Holland and Brainport Eindhoven call on the State Secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament to realise a direct rail connection between The Hague and Düsseldorf. The parties do so on the eve of a General Consultation Debate on International Rail in the Lower House.
The parties believe that a fast direct connection of the Southern Randstad conurbation and the North Rhine-Westphalia region is important to both the Dutch and the German economy, and also meets the State Secretary’s ambitions to connect economic hubs. The Regional Minister for Den Haag Robert van Asten (Mobility) is one of the lobby’s promotors of this intercity.
“Initial steps to realise this direct connection of Eindhoven and Düsseldorf have already been taken. We ask that the cabinet links the line directly to the intercity from Eindhoven to Den Haag. This way, a very large part of the Netherlands will have much better access to Nordrhein-Westfalen and vice versa. This is very important to the import and export, but to the exchange of knowledge as well.”
Support from Düsseldorf
The parties get support from Düsseldorf’s Oberbürgermeister, Thomas Geisel.
Geisel: "A direct train connection between Düsseldorf and Den Haag via Eindhoven and Rotterdam has many advantages: it brings people together and promotes the scientific and economical exchange. During meetings with the Deutsche Bahn, we have indicated our wish to arrange this project as soon as possible. An initial step is the two-track expansion of the rail track between Kaldenkirchen and Viersen-Dülken. This has now been integrated in the ‘urgent need’ of the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 (Federale Vervoersinfrastructuurplan 2030)."
Van Asten is happy with the support from Germany. “It really is a mutual interest. Only last week I paid a work visit to Nordrhein-Westphalia together with the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Metropole Region Rotterdam Den Haag. There you literally see all opportunities that such a faster connection offers, without even mentioning the tourist flow.”
According to the various parties, a direct intercity is also a good alternative for the car and the airplane. “Travellers do not like changing over or queuing in traffic. The train brings you directly to the city centre. By realising a good, reliable and direct intercity link, the train becomes an attractive alternative. That also meets the cabinet’s ambitions to replace the relatively short-distance air travel by sustainable international train travel. That is why we will continue to lobby the national governments from both regions to make this line happen”, ended Van Asten.