Freight train in Netherlands, source: ProRail

Once again wish for rail terminal in Dutch Barneveld

A rail terminal should be built in Barneveld, a Dutch industrial town situated on the North-Sea Baltic corridor. Large cargo volumes are transported in and out, but not by rail. This should change, the local industry believes. The need for a rail terminal in this area has once again been concluded in a research report, delivered by the municipality and entrepreneurs association of Barneveld.

Once again, because the need for a rail terminal along the Amersfoort-Apeldoorn railway line
has been acknowledged before. In 2016, a similar research came to the same conclusions. A plan was even drafted to build to proceed with the construction, but the rail terminal was never realised. The municipality and the BIK, which represents local entrepreneurs, decided in September next year to open the file once again.

Location of Barneveld on the railway line

Companies would use the terminal

In the report titled the Barneveld Sustainably Accessible (2020/20210), a relatively large number of companies indicated that they would use the terminal to transport containers or bulk goods. Apart from containers, it should also facilitate trailers, the parties interviewed indicated. In this way, the terminal would really be able to shift volumes from the road.

Apart from solving a local traffic problem, the terminal would fit well on the international map. Most successful rail terminals in the Netherlands are located along the east-west axes, as rail freight is dominated by traffic to and from Germany. As part of the North Sea-Baltic rail corridor, which runs to Poland and the Baltic states, the terminal has a guaranteed connection to Central and Northern Europe.

Political will still there

There is not much that has changed in these needs since the last time the plan was evaluated. Traffic congestion has increased, and there is more political will to shift traffic to rail today. However, it remains to be seen whether the terminal will be more than just a sketch this time. In 2019, the plan reached a dead end after the main investor pulled back, as there were no further steps taken by the parties involved.

According to the municipality, the political will has always been there. Alderman Didi Dorrestijn-Taal commented: “We are very happy with the results of this survey. We are still positive about the ambition and initiative to realise cargo transhipment and where necessary, we are committed to taking this initiative to the next phase.”

The BIK and the municipality of Barneveld have agreed that they will do so in the near future. They are now looking for experienced operators interested in exploiting the terminal, as this would be the smartest option, according to the research report. “This can be an independent operator or an operator that already has a terminal elsewhere.”

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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