Plans for a new train line by 2025, which will mean a faster connection between Stadskanaal and the provincial capital, were unveiled on Wednesday morning.
Translation by Thomas Ansell
By 2025, there should be an express service (34 minutes) and a local service (41 minutes) from Groningen to Stadskanaal. Currently, travel between Stadskanaal and Veendam relies on the Museum Train STAR, a train service which will preserved. RTV Noord reports that the plans will have to come up with a way to make it possivel for the Arriva and STAR trains to share the rails.
According to the Groninger Internet Courant, the plans were agreed upon by the Province of Groningen, ProRail, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Museumspoorlijn STAR (who presently run antique trains on the line), and train operator Arriva.
It is the intention that the first journey will be made in 2025, with fast trains only stopping in Hoogezand-Sappemeer, and Veendam. The rail plans include a connection between Veendam and Stadskanaal.
D66 representative Fleur Gräper says, “When I took office four years ago, I considered my main goal to be realising this train connection. It was difficult to realise, because it is a complex project with a number of stakeholders.” According to Gräper, the socio-economic effect of the train line will be “unbelievable” for Stadskanaal. which has a population of 32,000, by opening the city to more students, workers, tourists and businesses.