Faster train connection to bring Zuid-Holland nearer to Germany
A faster train connection between The Hague, Eindhoven and Düsseldorf has to bring North Rhine-Westphalia and Zuid-Holland closer to each other. The parties also want to improve their cooperation.
A delegation including, among others, Regional Minister Floor and The Hague councillor & Metropole Region The Hague Rotterdam (MRDH) director Robert van Asten promoted this last week during a working visit to North Rhine-Westphalia. Representatives of the Rotterdam Port Authority and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management were also present.
The importance of cooperation was emphasised during various talks with, among others, Europe Minister Christian Holthof-Pfortner of North Rhine-Westphalia and top man Erich Staake of the largest European inland port in Duisburg.
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.
Various means of transport
The parties aspire to promote a greater variety of modes of transport and to make the inland transport cleaner by having vessels use alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.
The working visit is prelude to the signing of a Joint Agenda on Mobility and Transport of the Provinces of Overijssel, Gelderland, Limburg and Noord-Brabant with North Rhine-Westphalia, on 25 February in Zwolle.