Published: October 4 2021Last change: October 4 2021
International intercity trains have to return to The Hague quickly. The municipality pleaded for this with a delegation of the European Commission on Monday morning, 4 October. The group of European politicians visited the city with the ‘Connecting Europe Express’ at The Hague Hollands Spoor station as part of the European Year of the Train, EUYearofRail. This train crisscrossed European countries for the past month and stopped in 39 towns. The European Year of the Train is an action to position train travel as sustainable, smart and safe.
Mid December the last direct intercity runs from The Hague to Brussels. This makes The Hague one of the few cities in Europe of this size that no longer has a direct international train connection, while the city has an international position with all kinds of leading large companies and institutions such as Europol and the International Criminal Court.
Train contributes to climate goals
The train is indispensable for traveling locally, nationally and internationally entice people to travel differently and achieve climate goals. ‘Up to about 500 kilometres, the train is the main mode of transport as an alternative to the plane. The train is also the sustainable alternative for long-distance journeys by car. Good international rail connections are indispensable for this. International train connections are also a must for keeping The Hague liveable and for the economic development of the city, the Southern Randstad and the Netherlands,’ says Alderman Robert van Asten of Mobility.
Promising international connections from The Hague
Together with NS, railway manager ProRail, the municipal joint venture Metropoolregio Rotterdam The Hague and the province of South Holland, the municipality wants to realize the following international connections:
• Towards Brussels, Paris and London: seamless transfer in Rotterdam to the existing high-speed network. In the long run, a direct fast intercity (IC) connection with Antwerp and Brussels.
• In Utrecht a seamless transfer to the high-speed network for a fast connection to, among others, Düsseldorf.
• A direct connection to Aachen via Eindhoven and Heerlen.
With a contribution from Europe, a lot of profit can be achieved quickly, simply and relatively cheaply. For example, the municipality proposes to double the section between Delft and Schiedam to 4 tracks and to construct a third rail curve from The Hague Central to Hollands Spoor. This could double the number of high-speed trains in Europe in 2021. The Hague is then directly connected to this network.