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Research: new Lelystad-Groningen railway line cheaper and faster

The construction of a new railway line between the stations of Lelystad and Groningen is probably cheaper than modification of the existing railway via Zwolle. Moreover, the travel time between Amsterdam and Groningen with such a new Lelylijn will be reduced from more than two hours to an hour and forty minutes.

This is evident from a new feasibility study into a faster connection between the Randstad and the north of the Netherlands. The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the three northern provinces.

Construction of a new railway line costs 3.2 to 6.4 billion euros. Making the existing track between Zwolle and Groningen suitable for faster trains costs 3.6 to 7.1 billion euros.

The new Lelylijn is also of economic significance for the Frisian cities of Heerenveen and Drachten, the research shows. Drachten in particular can benefit: that city now has no station.

Housing shortage in the Randstad

However, the researchers do not expect a faster train connection to also attract people from Amsterdam, Utrecht or the rest of the Randstad to the north. The Lelylijn is not a direct solution to the housing shortage in the Randstad, says RTV Noord.

The research shows that the construction of 100,000 homes in the north to alleviate the housing shortage in the Randstad is not realistic. Or as it is stated in the study: Groningen is too far from the Randstad to be part of the so-called Daily Urban System.

Eng provincialisme

In the north of the Netherlands, lobbying has been going on for decades for a faster train connection with the Randstad. “Now let us quickly decide to build it,” said the Mayor of Groningen Koen Schuiling at the beginning of this year in his New Year’s speech. “Or will we linger in the scary provincialism that so often plays tricks on The Hague?”

The Frisian provincial executive Avine Fokkens-Kelder calls the construction of the Lelylijn a matter of national importance today: “The Netherlands is too small for a periphery. If the Lelylijn is built, you can live in Fryslân and work in the Randstad,” she says. Omrop Fryslân. “The construction of the Lelylijn will benefit the whole of the Netherlands, because the Randstad is really becoming too busy and too full.”

Nevertheless, earlier plans for what was then still called the Zuiderzeelijn fell, always on economic grounds. In that respect, little has changed in fourteen years, the researchers write today. Literally it says: “The advice of the Council for Transport, Public Works and Water Management, the VROM Council and the Council for the Rural Area on the Zuiderzee line in 2006 states that the strategic objectives (including strengthening the economic structure) for the Zuiderzee line cannot be sufficient. The conclusions of the three councils are largely still standing. “

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