Northern Netherlands could close gap in TEN-T network

With new and improved railway connections, the Northern Netherlands can fulfill an important linking function in Europe and close a gap in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). This appears from a report published by the German-Swiss research bureau Prognos. 

A better railway link would close the current gap in the TEN-T network between Amsterdam, the Northern Netherlands and Hamburg in Northern Germany. By re-examining the Northern Netherlands in the context of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), it would be possible to bypass the usual busy railway node of Hannover on Dutch-German routes. It could also relieve the Oldenzaal–Bad Bentheim border crossing, which is used by over 5000 trains a year.

Better rail connections in the north could also lead to faster routes to Scandinavia. The Lelylijn, a proposed new railway line between the center of the Netherlands and the Northern provinces Friesland and Groningen, was taken into account by the researchers.

TEN-T railway links and the potential Northern Netherlands route, source: Prognos

Major trading partner

The researchers point out that the Netherlands is one of the three largest trade partners for both Denmark and Norway. Trade with Sweden is also on the rise. According to the report, train traffic on the Roerdam-Coevorden-Malmö rail corridor is proof that there is still a lot of potential for rail freight transport to and from Scandinavia.

The Northern Netherlands is not only situated between the Randstad, the conurbation in the central-western Netherlands consisting primarily of the four largest Dutch cities, and the Hamburg-Bremen metropolitan region, but could also be a connecting factor between the Rhine-Scheldt-Delta on the one hand and the Jade-Weser-Elbe-Delta on the other. A rail connection between the ports of Harlingen, Eemshaven, Delfzijl, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven and Hamburg would also be recommended from an economic point of view.

Author: Esther Geerts

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