In-depth research into the feasibility and specificities of direct train service between Groningen and Bremen is on the way, announced the Province of Groningen.
The statement follows an agreement between the Dutch and German sides of the Wunderline steering group, whose final goal is to connect the northern Netherlands and north-west Germany better via railway.
The Wunderline partners are already working on making the necessary improvements to the rail tracks between Groningen and Bremen, which will allow the new line to be operative starting from 2024.
The new direct train line will allow travelers to complete the journey in 2 hours and 26 minutes, the Wunderline website promises, a full 20 minutes below the current time and a much more comfortable journey, considering the repair works at Friesenbrücke will eliminate the need for alternative transportation at Weener.
Between 2024 and 2030, the project will focus instead on increasing the train speed, by improving the state of the ground, doubling tracks in strategic areas, and adapting a number of intermediate stations. The final travel time between Groningen and Bremen from 2030 should be only 2 hours and 11 minutes.
The Wunderline cooperation agreement was signed in 2019, and the investigation into the feasibility of the Groningen-Bremen direct connection is only the latest step in the process. The results of the investigations are expected in 2023.
The project is part of the bigger vision of a trans-European train network that will drastically improve rail connections between European countries. Apart from the Groningen-Bremen route, the plan will also make it easier for Dutch travelers to reach Scandinavia, Brussels, Paris, and London by train.
In 2021 the Wunderline project received a 12,7 million euros EU grant to use in the first phase of railroads works, money that will last into November 2023. The project is also financed by the province of Groningen, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Lower Saxony region, and the national German government.