Betuweroute, image: ProRail

Port of Rotterdam urges Germany to complete Betuweroute

After years of waiting, Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, has had enough. When will the Germans finish their part of the Betuweroute? Castelein sent a letter on the matter this month to Andreas Scheuer, the German Minister of Transport and Infrastructure.

Eleven years ago the Betuweroute was opened. Freight trains now run daily between the Port of Rotterdam and the German border at Zevenaar. The German part of the railway between Emmerik and Oberhausen is still not finished.

No progress

“No significant progress has been made in this economically important process in recent years. In the Netherlands we have invested 4.7 billion Euros in the part of the route to the border. It is now 2018 and no one can tell us when the German part will be opened. There is not even a realisation date yet and we do not see any progress. We are still waiting for eleven of the twelve building permits”, says Castelein.

Instead of 160 trains a day, there are now only 100 trains running on the railway, according to the CEO. “I would be very happy if we finally get clear information about the implementation and a realistic delivery date.”

Political meeting

A copy of the letter was sent to Dutch minister of Minister of Infrastructure and Water Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. The responsible politician in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst and the German secretary of state Enak Ferlemann have also received a copy.

The timing of Castelein’s letter is not a coincidence. Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte will travel to North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in mid-November for talks with NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet and other politicians. The Netherlands is the most important trading partner for the federal state. In the new coalition treaty of the NRW government, the Netherlands is mentioned in several paragraphs, but no details are shared about the Betuweroute.

Author: Malini Witlox

Also read:

Traffic volumes on Dutch freight line the Betuweroute rise again

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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