Rail manager ProRail says it needs a lot of money to improve the railways and thus keep the Netherlands accessible in the future. In a letter to informateur Mariëtte Hamer, billions to tens of billions of euros extra are being asked for the railways, ProRail boss John Voppen told AD. This money is needed for, among other things, new stations, new connections and innovations to increase capacity on the railways.
The Netherlands has the ambition to build significantly more homes to combat the housing shortage. “That is only possible with more and better railways: With good public transport connections, you do not only have to build those houses around the big cities, but you can also do that in the north and east of the country,” Voppen says newspaper.
“Our rail network is the busiest track in Europe with 1,4 million journeys every working day,” said the ProRail boss. Despite corona, the track is reaching limits, he says. And forecasts state that train traffic will grow by 30-40 percent over the next twenty years. According to Voppen, this means that substantial investments must be made.
“In the past twenty years we have already tackled the largest stations - from Rotterdam CS to The Hague, Utrecht, Breda and Arnhem - now these are stations throughout the Netherlands,” Voppen says in the newspaper. For example, ProRail is investigating the feasibility of a Dordrecht-Leerpark, Dordrecht Amstelwijck, Rotterdam Van Nelle, Schiedam Kethel and Rijswijk Buiten station on the Dordrecht-Rotterdam-The Hague-Leiden line. In addition, dozens of stations have to be refurbished and the capacity on the track has to be further increased. "For example, we want to invest in automatically controlled trains, so that we can use the track even more intensively."