The German government has signed a financial deal for the construction of a third rail line between Emmerich and Oberhausen in the nation’s North Rhine-Westphalia state.
The Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands said the rail line is an important milestone in the extension of the Betuwerourte, a freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, because it will solve a bottleneck for freight trains on the route.
Hans Smits, CEO of Port of Rotterdam Authority, said in a written statement that he is “happy and relieved” about the deal:
“Three years ago, the third rail line was pretty low on the German list of priorities,” Smits said. “Thanks to good, well-planned lobbying with the Dutch government and port businesses, the tide gradually turned.
“A vital element here was the support from companies in North Rhine-Westphalia and, more particularly, the government of the federal state,” he continued. “It changed from a ‘project for the Port of Rotterdam’ to one about the export power of the hinterland.
“The construction of the third rail line will also mean building dozens of tunnels and bridges, which are very important in limiting the nuisance caused to local residents,” Smits added.
According to the current schedule, the third rail line should be completed in 2022.