One step closer to new railway link port of Rotterdam

This weekend saw the successful installation of the second bridge of the Theemswegtracé, a new branch of the railway line connecting the port of Rotterdam to the hinterland. The bridge spans over the Thomassentunnel and the A15 and N15 motorways and the placing of the structure was quite a remarkable operation, which could be followed live on webcam. 

The structure was in place by Saturday evening, 30 May. The railway bridge forms a key link in the Theemswegtracé, which in total stretches over four km in length. The first bridge along this route – spanning Rozenburgsesluis – was installed on 4 April 2020. The first trains are expected to travel down the Theemswegtracé in late 2021.

This second bridge, of which the steel structure alone weighs 4,100 tonnes, is 269 metre long, 13.7 metre wide and 28 metre tall. It was built by Hollandia, based in Krimpen aan den IJssel. The substructure of the Theemsweg Route is constructed by SaVe, a consortium made up of BESIX, Dura Vermeer, Mobilis, Hollandia and Iemants.

Bottleneck solution

The Theemswegtracé is a 300-million euros solution to the problems associated with the Calandbrug near Rozenburg. This bridge is opened multiple times per day to allow the passage of ships. Road and rail traffic experience serious hinder. The port of Rotterdam therefore decided to build a new passage for road and rail traffic. For rail freight, the Theemswegtracé will form a direct link to the freight dedicated Betuweroute.

“The Theemswegtracé is in line with the Port Authority’s policy to increase the sustainability of Rotterdam’s connections with the hinterland and raise efficiency in rail, road and shipping traffic. In view of the forecast growth in rail freight transport and the increase in shipping movements from and to Brittanniëhaven, the Port Authority believes that rail transport could run into capacity problems. The construction of the Theemsweg Route resolves this bottleneck”, said Ronald Paul, COO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.


Watch the video of the operation provided by the Port of Rotterdam.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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