April 30, 2012

Prorail plans Leeuwarden-Groningen upgrade

Written by  Quintus Vosman
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DUTCH infrastructure manager Prorail is to upgrade the non-electrified line between Groningen and Leeuwarden in an effort to meet demand for a second hourly fast service between the two towns.

The Euros 120m project, which is due to be completed by the end of 2017, is being supported by the provinces of Friesland and Groningen, the cities of Leeuwarden and Groningen, and the municipalities along the line.

At present, there are two stopping trains and one fast service per hour per direction on the line which is still partially single track. Works are scheduled to start in the second half of next year, and will include modifications to the track layout, increasing platform capacity at Leeuwarden, raising maximum line speeds from 100km/h to 130km/h on the Leeuwarden – Veenwouden stretch and from 100km/h to 120km/h on the Grijpskerk – Zuidhorn – Hoogkerk section. Between Zuidhorn and Hoogkerk the track will be doubled.

In addition, a new station is also proposed at Hoogkerk on the outskirts of Groningen close to the A7 highway, and potential sites are being evaluated, although this is outside the scope of the upgrading project and is not currently funded.

At present passenger services on this line are operated by Arriva.

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