Randstad-Groningen direct train connection gaining steam
The plan to connect the northern Netherlands with the Randstad is gaining steam. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the provinces of Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe set up a work organization to investigate what the "Lelylijn" will look like exactly, the Ministry announced, calling it a "new phase" of the project.
The new train connection will run from the city of Groningen via Friesland and Flevoland to the Randstad, with a maximum speed of 200 kilometers per hour. The idea is to shorten the travel time between Groningen and Amsterdam by around 40 minutes. The plan is to also connect Drachten and Emmeloord to the network with new stations.
"I think it's great that we are now getting to work on the plans of the Lelylijn," said State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen of Infrastructure and Water Management. "As with any construction project, the phase in which the plan takes shape and wishes are explored is just as important as the construction itself. Together with the region, we are tackling this energetically and would also like to involve the inhabitants of the northern provinces in this process."
The Lelylijn is one of the components of the Delta Plan for the Northern Netherlands. The plan aims to make living and working in the country's north more attractive. In the coalition agreement, the Rutte IV Cabinet set 3 billion euros aside to eventually fund the Lelylijn, together with funding from the region and European subsidies.
Earlier this year, the northern provinces announced that they could build about 220,000 additional homes to help combat the housing shortage in the Netherlands. But that is dependent on a faster rail connection with the Randstad.
Last year, railway company Arriva also announced that it plans to introduce two new night train routes meant to connect Maastricht and Groningen with Schiphol Airport.