Travel time Amsterdam-Berlin will be shortened on both sides
Germany wants to further shorten the travel time between Amsterdam and Berlin to 5 hours and 23 minutes by 2030. Dutch State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven confirms and reacted to this in response to questions from the Dutch parliament about the German plan. For a connection between the two major capitals, the current journey time of 6 hours and 20 minutes has been seen as a shortcoming for a long time.
In the letter, she writes that fellow ministers brought her up to date when they discussed cross-border connections that are included in the Dutch ‘Toekomstbeeld OV’ and German ‘Deutschlandtakt’. “I am very pleased with the shared ambition of the German government to speed up the connection between our two capitals. Most of the route is on German territory, so we need each other to speed up this connection.”
With the Deutschlandtakt, regional and long-distance rail transport in Germany will be improved. The Dutch plan Future of Public Transport mentions international connections such as Groningen – Bremen, Eindhoven – Düsseldorf, the acceleration of the connections to Berlin and Frankfurt and a direct connection The Hague – Eindhoven – Düsseldorf. Not all the projects from the plan for the future of public transport are concrete yet. A prospective cabinet has yet to decide on a number of these.
Acceleration connection to Berlin
According to Van Veldhoven, the accelerations of train services in 2024 and 2030 are the result of the cooperation between the two countries and are not mutually exclusive. At the moment, the travel time between Amsterdam and Berlin is still six hours and twenty minutes. In 2024 it can then be shortened by about half an hour. In 2030, the travel time is expected to be reduced to 5 hours and 23 minutes.
Van Veldhoven reports that modifications to the infrastructure on the Dutch side will increase the robustness and speed of the track between Dutch cities Deventer, Hengelo and the German border. This ensures that the train service will soon fit better into the timetables on both sides of the border. “These measures are robust and useful for possible further acceleration of the connection in the future, as proposed in Deutschlandtakt with an acceleration of another half hour on the same route after 2030.”
Open access market survey
The State Secretary indicates in her letter that various routes are being considered in order to accelerate in the long term, including Utrecht – Arnhem (with or without transfer in Germany), via Zwolle or via Amersfoort. This option connects to the HSL network in Germany and is part of Deutschlandtakt. “The route options via Zwolle and Amersfoort can benefit from the possible extra acceleration in Germany.” She reports that the route options for the long term are being further investigated.
Van Veldhoven refers to the market survey that is currently being conducted into international rail connections via open access. This concerns both long-distance and short-distance cross-border connections as part of the main rail network concession. There is also a broader look at the potential of other international connections to and from the Netherlands. “This potential also includes the Amsterdam – Hamburg connection and the question of whether there are carriers who can and want to offer the connection.” She expects to be able to share the first results of the market survey before the summer.