THE European Commission (EC) has announced that its Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (Cinea) has awarded Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grants worth a total of €82m to rail infrastructure projects in the Netherlands.
Infrastructure manager ProRail will receive a total of €72m, including €70m for work at Amsterdam Central station under the High Frequency Rail (PHS) programme to increase capacity in order to operate more frequent passenger services.
Work will include grade separation of junctions, laying new tracks and work to increase station capacity, such as lengthening platforms and upgrading passenger tunnels. The project will also increase capacity for cross-border freight services.
CEF funding of €9m is being provided to build a new road tunnel to replace a major level crossing at the southern end of Venlo station, easing operation of services to Roermond and to Kaldenkirchen in Germany.
Replacement of the Vierpaardjes level crossing is being co-funded by the province of Limburg and the municipality of Venlo, which is acting as project coordinator.
A grant of €1.9m has been made towards further studies for developing cross-border freight traffic between the port of Terneuzen and Ghent in Belgium.
A feasibility study is already underway for ProRail and Belgian infrastructure manager Infrabel, examining options for increasing capacity and enhancing the robustness of freight operations on the Terneuzen - Ghent route where traffic is growing.
Options for increasing capacity include a new cross-border railway from Sluiskil to Zelzate in Belgium, which would be built on the east bank of Ghent - Terneuzen ship canal.
The EC is also supporting important cross-border links within the TEN-T network, including the line in Germany between Oberhausen and Emmerich near the Dutch border. Capacity is being increased here for traffic moving between Oberhausen and Rotterdam via the Betuwe dedicated freight route in the Netherlands.
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