Rail works began at the Herfte junction near Zwolle this week to expedite rail service to Friesland: once the works, including a new tunnel, are completed, trains from Leeuwarden and Meppel no longer have to wait on each other.
Translation by Traci White
The Leeuwarder Courant reports that the plans have been a political point of discussion for the past 15 years, and the rail works to double the number of tracks from two to four at the Herfte junction have finally gotten underway this week.
A so-called “dive under” – a tunnel – will be built to allow the Emmen train to continue travelling while the Meppel and Leeuwarden trains travel above it. The rail works are projected to cost 170 million euros. The works are expected to completed by 2021 and should mean a slightly shorter journey between Zwolle and Leeuwarden, as well as a better transfer time in Zwolle.
While changes are coming to the hub which is the main interchange for travelers out of the north, secretary of state Stientje van Veldhoven indicated earlier this week that the Lely line, which would travel through Emmeloord and Lelystad, will not be built.
However, Groningen politicians are arguing increasingly strongly for the urgent need for additional rail connections in the region: a motion submitted by the 100% Groningen faction in the municipal council addressing the necessity of improved public transportation received strong support from the rest of the council.