The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany might be neighbours, but the governments of these countries believe more needs to be done to improve the public transport services which connect the three nations. Enter the new so-called tri-state train, which will connect the cities of Liège (Luik), Maastricht, and Aachen.
Tri-state train to improve links between Liège, Maastricht, and Aachen
There are of course already plenty of rail services run by various operators that connect the three countries, but what makes the tri-state train unique is that not only is it spearheaded by the Belgian, German and Dutch governments, but it will also run every hour and will mean travellers from Belgium and Germany will no longer have to transfer in Maastricht.
“The train connection connects the three border regions without transfer, making it easier for residents to take the train for work, school, family visits or recreation,” the Dutch government explained in a press statement. Involved parties also hope the improved connection will “allow the region’s economy to grow even further.”
“Thanks to the three-country train you can travel from the Netherlands to Liège and Aachen without a transfer,” the statement goes on to say. “At both stations, you can board a high-speed train that connects with cities such as Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris. The tri-state train therefore also contributes to making the train more attractive as an alternative to short flights.”
The Netherlands working with Belgium and Limburg to launch new train
There’s still a fair amount of work that needs to be done before the train departs from Liège this December, but the three rail companies that’ll be responsible for running the train – Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), Arriva and the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS) – have confirmed that it is “financially, technically and in terms of capacity” possible to run the train.
The next step in the process has seen Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Vivianne Heijnen, Belgian Minister of Mobility Georges Gilkinet and Limburg Deputy of Mobility and Infrastructure Maarten van Gaans-Gijbels sign a letter of intent that contains various agreements that were required in order to ensure the train can be up and running by the end of the year.
Over the course of the coming months, more will be done to be ready in time for a December launch, including figuring out how and where tickets will be sold and what the prices will be.
Thumb: Marcel Huijsman via Shutterstock.com.