Iron Rhine in the Netherlands. Photo: Dolph Cantrijn/Hollandse Hoogte

Iron Rhine or 3RX drafts to be dusted off…again

There will be a new study this fall into the feasibility of the Rhein-Ruhr-Rail Connection, also known as 3RX. The Belgian Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, reiterated that this week during a committee meeting of the Mobility Commission. The Flemish Interest Committee member Frank Troosters wasn’t pleased with the announcement, as the study is carried out again and again, without concrete results, he noted.

“So we are now updating a study from four years ago. The study will start in autumn and will last for another year. Then, by analogy with other files, it will end up in a desk drawer, so that we may be able to do another update and a new study of the actualisation of the update within two or three years”, says Troosters.

Successor of the Iron Rhine

The international working group behind the 3RX project already decided in June 2020 to update the social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA). 3XR is also seen as the successor of the Iron Rhine, an old railway connection between the port of Antwerp and the German Ruhr region via the Netherlands.

The updated SCBA will be broader in scope than the previous SCBA, which was done four years ago. In addition, according to Gilkinet, “new relevant elements and figures” are taken into account. He didn’t say what those are.

Belgium takes the lead

The Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport will take the lead in the SCBA project, for which Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany will sign an agreement, so that the contract can be launched. The cost of the project will be divided by three. The results are expected at the end of 2022.

Author: Marieke van Gompel

Marieke van Gompel is editor of RailFreight.com and chief editor of the ProMedia Group online magazines.

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