Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands sign for new cross-border service
Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have signalled their intention to start a new cross-border rail service between the German city of Aachen and Liège in Belgium in December. In the Netherlands, the new service by Dutch Railways (NS), Arriva and SNCB will call at Maastricht, the stakeholders announce on Tuesday.
The proposed service calls for a cross-border train every hour. Currently, it is only possible to travel between Liège and Maastricht, as the connection onwards to Aachen experiences difficulties related to the programming of the ETCS signalling beacons at the station in Germany. This issue will probably be resolved in the coming weeks, an Arriva spokesperson told sister publication SpoorPro last month.
Other outstanding issues are ticket sales and tariffs, the stakeholders write. Signatories include Belgian mobility minister Georges Gilkinet and Dutch state secretary for infrastructure and water management Vivianne Heijnen.
The new service will open up the cross-border area to high-speed connections as well, as both Liège and Aachen are departure cities for services to cities such as London, Paris and Berlin. “This project is a prime example of European rail integration”, Gilkinet said in comments on the service. “The fact that the different operators and stakeholders have achieved this level of cooperation is nothing short of a breakthrough”.
“This service is the product of the determination of all those involved”, Heijnen added.