Municipalities reject construction of Dutch only-freight corridor

The much-discussed construction of the second branch of the Dutch corridor Betuweroute faces another obstacle. Despite the Dutch government fully supporting the project, the municipalities of the areas where the corridor will pass through object against its construction.

The second branch of the Betuweroute would pass through the Dutch municipalities of Aalten, Berkelland, Bronckhorst, Doetinchem, East Gelre, Oude IJsselstreek and Winterswijk. These seven municipalities have collectively rejected the possibility of its construction and informed the Dutch House of Representatives and cabinet members that they do not support any relevant development.

Why a North Branch

The idea behind the North Branch of the Betuweroute is to relieve pressure on the main route between Arnhem and Zutphen because it runs straight through a densely populated area that experiences much nuisance from rail freight traffic. It would add a second branch between Zevenaar and Hengelo, crossing the border at Oldenzaal and running directly to the north of Germany.

In November, the political party VVD submitted a motion in the House of Representatives to investigate the possibilities of the line through the Achterhoek-the region where the municipalities mentioned above belong. The entire House was in favour, except for two votes. One of the options is to build the new railway line along the A18 motorway.

The Achterhoek municipalities call a new route “disastrous for the quality of life in the region”. A new discussion about the north branch would put developments in housing, the economy and health care on hold for an unacceptably long time.

This article was originally published in SpoorPro, our Dutch sister publication. 

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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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