Prorail anticipates that rail freight operator LTE will operate around 20 pairs of 740m-long container trains per week run between the port of Rotterdam and the Dutch - German border crossing at Venlo - Kaldenkirchen. These will be routed via the conventional network and will not use the Betuweroute dedicated freight corridor.

Prorail says the introduction of longer freight trains will generate “economies of scale” on the Dutch network, which is approaching capacity due to rapidly-increasing traffic.  

The infrastructure manager is aiming for a ‘careful’ introduction of 740m-long trains, which will enable analysis of the potential operational risks arising from increased train lengths. In this regard, Prorail is working in cooperation with its German counterpart DB Network.

The results of the research will also be discussed with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure, the rail freight sector, and other industry stakeholders.