Dutch provinces call for better train connections with Germany
It is too difficult to convince travelers to travel between the Netherlands and Germany by train rather than by plane or car. The government needs to invest in more and faster trains between the two countries, a group of five provinces said in a letter to State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure, the Telegraaf reports.
According to the Dutch national railway NS, 3 million people travel by train between the Netherlands and Germany every year. That could be doubled with better connections, which led to the provinces of Gelderland, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Overijssel and Zuid-Holland to demand that Van Veldhoven and her German counterpart take action and lower the barriers preventing better train traffic between the two countries.
"An international approach is now needed in both countries to remove bottlenecks in the short term. Until now, it's only been words, but nothing is being done," Zuid-Holland official Floor Vermeulen said to the newspaper.
The NS sells 100 thousand tickets just to Berlin every year, substantially less than the 800 thousand ticketed journeys to Brussels and 500 thousand to Paris. The provinces believe that the number of tickets to Berlin would increase five-fold with shorter travel times. Currently, the 650-kilometer journey from Amsterdam to Berlin takes around six hours at its fastest. The 500-kilometer trip to Paris takes under four hours to complete at an average speed roughly 22 percent faster than the route to Berlin.