Additional track for the Betuwe Line between Zevenaar and Oberhausen

The connection between the Betuwe Line and the hinterland will soon be improved. An additional track will be laid along the line between Zevenaar and Oberhausen (Germany). This third track will be completed in 2022, allowing more trains to run on the line.

More freight trains due to expansion of the Betuwe Line

Transport on the Betuwe Line has increased in recent years. The expectation is that this upward trend will continue in the years ahead. A third track is needed in order to cope adequately with this expected increase. The first terminals on Maasvlakte II will go into use this year. This means a rise in freight transport. The laying of a third track means that freight transport operators can run more freight trains on European freight corridors. International rail traffic between Rotterdam and Genoa will also be improved as a result.

Emmerich-Oberhausen expansion work to run until 2022

Work on the Emmerich-Oberhausen line will start in 2016 and should be completed in 2022.

The project consists of the following components:

  • laying a third track of 70 km and a fourth track of 3 km;
  • constructing 74 km of noise barriers;
  • upgrading 11 stations;
  • constructing or modifying 47 overpasses and bridges;
  • replacing 55 level crossings with 38 flyover crossings.

Adjustments to train traffic during the work

How can freight transport continue to run as smoothly as possible while engineering work is being carried out? The question was considered by the Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment together with the stakeholders. As a result, measures have been taken to reduce nuisance as much as possible for other rail traffic and for people living nearby. This helps ensure that freight transport complies with safety and noise standards at all times.

The measures include:

  • redirecting freight trains to alternative lines:
    • trains to central and southern Germany and Italy should use the rail border crossing at Venlo if possible;
    • trains to eastern and northern Germany and Scandinavia should use the border crossing at Oldenzaal if possible.
  • trains containing hazardous substances should use the Betuwe Line if possible.

The Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment is adjusting the capacity distribution so that the alternative lines can cope with more freight trains. It is also taking steps to optimise the use of existing infrastructure. For instance, railway network manager ProRail will not carry out maintenance activities while trains are being redirected.