DUTCH regional operator Qbuzz, a subsidiary of Italian State Railways (FS), has joined Arriva Netherlands, a subsidiary of German Rail (DB), in submitting an application to the Dutch Consumers and Markets Authority (ACM) to operate cross-border open-access services from the Netherlands.

The new services are: Amsterdam - Eindhoven; Amsterdam - Bad Bentheim - Berlin or Amsterdam - Arnhem - Oberhausen - Berlin; and Amsterdam - Paris.

ACM will determine whether the new services would affect the economical equilibrium of trains operated under the next Main Line Network (HLN) concession, which the government plans to directly award to Netherlands Railways (NS) to commence on January 1 2025. QBuzz plans to start operating the three new open-access services from January 2027.

Arriva Netherlands earlier announced plans to introduce a direct train service between Groningen, in the northeast of the Netherlands, and Paris starting in June 2026. The new Arriva service would depart from Groningen at around 05.30 and arrive at Paris Gare du Nord at 10.40, while the return service would depart from Paris at 19.15, arriving in Groningen at about 00.30, with a third daily service linking just Amsterdam and Paris in the middle of the day.

QBuzz says FS has allocated €200m to invest in the launch of open-access passenger services. International services will be operated with ETR 1000 high-speed trains, which FS already operates in Italy and in France. The ETR 1000 is also operated by in Spain by Iryo, in which FS passenger operating business Trenitalia holds a majority stake. FS has plans to serve Brussels.