Following recognition of the historic rights of Belgium relating to this track by the Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Infrabel is collaborating in the plans to re-open the Steel Rhine.
The Steel Rhine is the most effective route linking the port of Antwerp to Germany via Neerpelt and the Netherlands. The project to partially re-open the Steel Rhine would enable a limited number of trains to run here in the near future.
The project follows a similar logic to that of line 24 (Montzen axis) which links the port of Antwerp with the German border and which Infrabel is intending to electrify in 2008. In fact, the Steel Rhine could run a limited number of trains and can take a higher load that that permitted on line 24.
This solution is currently subject to negotiations between Belgium and the Netherlands. In July 2006, a commission of independent experts was formed to propose a solution for the distribution of costs relating to this re-opening. Its results are expected during the first half of 2008. In the long term, a project for the complete restoration of this route is under analysis with the aim of running the line to complement line 24.
- Increase in the capacity and flexibility of the network;
- Possibility of running heavier convoys on the route than on the Montzen route (2000 tonnes in both directions compared to 800 and 1300 tonnes);
- Shorter journey than on the Montzen route (162 km compared to 211 km);
- Complements the Montzen route perfectly.
- Expected operation of Steel Rhine: after 2015
For more information
- All projects in the port of Antwerp