Border Crossings: Germany - Netherlands

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Vetschau DB - Simpelveld NS (- Schin op Geul)

[D] This is part of the line used by passenger trains between Aachen and Maastricht until they were diverted to run to Heerlen via Herzogenrath. The junction at Aachen West has been removed. Zuid Limburgse Stoomtrein Maatschappij now runs tourist steam trains between Schin op Geul and Kerkrade via Simpelveld, in addition to a branch service from Simpelveld over the border to Vetschau.

(Aachen -) Herzogenrath DB - Landgraaf NS (- Heerlen)

[E*] This crossing replaced Aachen West - Simpelveld [Maastricht] on 31 May 1992 - see previous item. With the electrification of Herzogenrath to Landgraaf in 2018, since January 2019 an Aachen - Heerlen - Maastricht passenger service has been operated by Arriva with EMUs. These units are able to operate off the Dutch, German and Belgian electrification systems, thus permitting a future extension of the service to Liège. The changeover between DB and NS systems is at Haanrade, just west of the border. A second track will be brought into use between Landgraaf and Heerlen in December 2022 which will permit a half-hourly cross-border service to run. The second hourly service will start back in Eindhoven but initially run only to Herzogenrath because of pathing problems on the Herzogenrath to Aachen line. Work is underway to resolve these issues and run these services through to Aachen.

(Mönchengladbach -) Dalheim DB - Roermond NS

[D] This line, the so-called "Iron Rhine Route", has a passenger service operated by VIAS Rail GmbH between Mönchengladbach and Dalheim, but has been out of use since 1991 between Dalheim and Roermond. Proposals for reopening for freight trains between Belgium and Germany have been on the table for many years, without much progress having been made.

(Mönchengladbach -) Kaldenkirchen DB - Venlo NS

[E*] Eurobahn works RE13 passenger services to Venlo; there are no through services unless the route via Emmerich is blocked, when this line may be used as a diversionary route to Utrecht. Voltage switching is provided in the Venlo station area.

(Kleve -) Kranenburg DB - Groesbeek NS - Nijmegen

Line closed. However, Grenzland Draisine, based at Kranenburg, offers the Grenzenlose trip to Groesbeek (5.5 km one way). See Netherlands - Tourist_Lines. The line regularly appears in lists of reopening candidates, but no definite plans have materialised.

Emmerich DB - Zevenaar NS (- Arnhem or Kijfhoek)

[E*] ICE services, worked by multi-system ICE3M units, run non-stop between Arnhem and Oberhausen. Until 31 January 2022, Abellio Rail NRW ran the RE19 local service between Arnhem and Düsseldorf with tri-system Stadler Flirt EMUs. From 1 February 2022, with the withdrawal of Abellio from all Nordrhein-Westfalen services, RE19 has been operated by VIAS Rail GmbH.

The freight-only 25 kV ac Betuweroute from Kijfhoek yard joins the Arnhem line just east of Zevenaar station, and Zevenaar Oost - Emmerich was converted from 1.5 kV dc to 25 kV ac in 2016. Therefore all electric trains which run to and from Arnhem must be able to operate under three electrification systems (1.5kV dc, 15kV 16.7Hz ac and 25kV 50Hz ac), but those to and from the Betuweroute need only be compatible with the two ac voltages.

Freight services are generally worked throughout by modern multi-system electric locomotives.

Borken DB - Winterswijk NS

Line closed.

Gronau (Westf) DB - Glanerbrug NS (- Enschede)

[D] This railway re-opened for advertised passenger traffic in November 2001. DB works to Enschede with DMUs. The infrastructure between the border and Enschede is owned by NS, although there is no through running connection between this line and the rest of the NS network at Enschede. There is therefore no freight traffic.

Bad Bentheim DB - Oldenzaal NS (- Hengelo)

[E*] NS works the two-hourly IC services between Amsterdam and Berlin with electric locomotives as far as Bad Bentheim, where various tracks have switchable catenary. Eurobahn operates an hourly Hengelo - Bad Bentheim - Bielefeld service using multi-system electric units.

(Bad Bentheim -) Laarwald BE - Coevorden BE

[D] The Bentheimer Eisenbahn AG owns and operates this freight line. Plans exist to re-open the line to passengers.

(Leer -) Weener DB - Nieuweschans NS (- Groningen)

[D] Temporarily closed.

Passenger services between Leer and Groningen are operated by Arriva. This line was rebuilt in 2001; previously, this line was temporarily closed whenever a particularly large new vessel was being delivered from the Meyer Werft shipyard www.meyerwerft.com at Papenburg, because this required the main span of the railway bridge over the River Ems at Weener to be removed.

The lifting span of the Ems bridge was destroyed when hit by a ship on 3 December 2015. Direct passenger services between Leer and Groningen are currently operated by bus whilst trains run as far as Weener. As a replacement, Deutsche Bahn are constructing a long swing bridge, one of the largest in Europe with a length of 160 m. It would provide a 71 m channel for shipping, wider than the 46 m of the old bridge thus enabling larger cruise ships to be built at the shipyard, and planned to open in 2024.

Once the bridge has reopened a direct Bremen – Groningen service is planned, to be known as the "Wunderline". Initially a journey time of 2h30 is foreseen, reducing to 2h15 with line improvements. These include double-tracking the section between the border and Ihrhove as well as other sections within Germany.

See also