The State Secreraries Stientje van Veldhoven of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands and Enak Ferlemann, German Federal Commissioner for Railway Transportation, discussed the improvement of the iconic train connection between Amsterdam and Berlin today. Common aim is to realise more attractive travel offerings by the environmentally friendly railway transportation in order to increase its market share with respect to road and air transport. To achieve this, not only infrastructure or frequencies should be improved, also smart interventions to improve passenger information, international ticketing, on-route passenger services and connecting air and train travel are necessary. Together, Germany and the Netherlands will address this message to European partners.
Speeding up the Amsterdam-Berlin connection is possible with investments in multisystem material and a clever timetable. The results of a common bi-national research project showed that already the use of multi-system locomotives and leaving out of a few stops will allow a reduction of the running time by roughly 20 minutes to almost six hours. Alternations of the infrastructure are not necessary for this short-term solution. Therefore, a realisation is possible in shorter time-frame if the multi-system locomotives are procured promptly. Both State Secretaries recommend the operators to evaluate this concept urgently.
Both State Secretaries welcomed the recent decision of DB Fernverkehr to invest in new rolling stock. DB ordered new rolling stock of ICE-quality and is expecting to introduce the new trains in the year 2023. The new ECx-trainsets which will be manufactured by Talgo provide easy access without steps throughout the entire train.
With a top speed of 230 km per hour the new trains will use the potential of the Hannover – Berlin high speed line more effective than today’s rolling stock. These, together with optimisation of the timetables allow a possible reduction of the running time of more than 30 minutes to 5:50 hours. The operators of the Amsterdam-Berlin connection will work on the details of how to realize this travel time reduction in a time table.
In the longer time frame the travel time between Amsterdam and Berlin could decrease even more. This is made possible by the infrastructure projects in Germany between Hamm, Hanover and Berlin. These projects were already proposed for the German integrated interval time table ("Deutschland-Takt"). To further reduce travel time the State Secretary Van Veldhoven works on a ‘Future vision of public transport 2040’. In this vision, she will investigate the possibility of infrastructural investments that can been done on the Dutch railway to fasten the connection with Germany. Both countries will evaluate this perspective in their rail infrastructure plans.
The newly procured multi-system trains by Talgo and our Deutschland-Takt will allow us to improve considerably the attractiveness of the train connection between Amsterdam and Berlin within the next years. The infrastructure projects for the Deutschland-Takt between Berlin, Hannover and Nordrhine-Westfalia will have very positive effects on the travel times between Amsterdam and Berlin. By that, the Deutschland-Takt and its infrastructures cater for improved international connections to our European neighbours as well.
Stientje van Veldhoven:
Germany is our neighbour-country and most important trade partner. With a faster railconnection between our economic centersand the German cities, the railconnection will be the most attractive option for all the travellers.