SchienenRegio (Rail region) – Feasibility study on cross-border train connections in the Euregio area


Within the SchienenRegio (Rail region) project, German and Dutch partners conduct together an analysis for the improvement of the cross-border rail passenger transport in the EUREGIO area. This analysis shows promising improvements in the rail passenger transport and offers an evaluation of its feasibility.

Project partners are responsible for the following developments of the rail network in the border region and require therefore mutual examinations with concrete recommendations for improvements. Moreover the visibility and importance of the cross-border rail passenger transport can be delineated at national level by means of the analysis.

Results of the analysis will be presented to the involved parties and introduced in the respective regional bodies. Moreover there will be an investigation about funding chances through the TEN-T-Programme, as the Amsterdam-Berlin connection is part of the North Sea-Baltic-Corridor, which runs through the INTERREG programme area.

Project details

The INTERREG Spoorregio/Schienenregion project´s nature is an orientating analysis. The analysis is addressed particularly to the rail network within the border area between Twente / Drenthe and Germany, around the existing international rail connection Amsterdam/Hengelo/ Osnabrück/Berlin.

Participating partners in the project are Bentheimer Eisenbahn, IHK Nord Westfalen, IHK Osnabrück-Emsland-Grafschaft Bentheim, Landkreis Grafschaft Bentheim, Landkreis Osnabrück, Provincie Drenthe, Regio Twente, Stadt Münster, Stadt Osnabrück, Zweckverband SPNV Münsterland (ZVM), whereby the Province of Overijssel is the Leadpartner´s project.

Part of the analysis within the project are:

1: Emmen-Nordhorn-Rheine´s rail passenger transport line (Bentheimer Eisenbahn as contracting authority)

In 2015 the Lower Saxony Federal State held in the course of the reactivation of the railway passenger transport the resolution to expand the rail connection between Bad Bentheim and Neuenhaus. According to the schedule, the first trains of this line should travel in 2018. The planned reactivation also provides possibly a basis for the expansion of the connection for cross-border passenger transport to Emmen and the connection to the German long-distance network over the train nodal point Rheine. The research should enlighten further potentialities.

2a: Optimisation of the Zwolle-Enschede-Gronau-Münster´s connection (Province of Overijssel as contracting authority)

In this part of the analysis the effect of a possible connection between the regional train lines Münster-Enschede and Enschede-Zwolle is investigated as attractive alternative for travellers in border territory.

2b: Plan of the electrification of the Enschede-Münster´s line (ZVM as contracting authority)

In the last years the number of passengers has constantly increased on the Münster – Enschede line. This increase has led to overcome the capacity limits on the line. With the current infrastructure is not possible to deploy more or longer trains. In this part of the analysis electrification on the Enschede – Münster line is technically planned, so that is evident, which are the necessary measures to be taken and which are the correlated investment and company costs.

3: Acceleration and improvement of the East-West-Corridor Amsterdam-Hengelo-Osnabrück-Berlin (Province of Overijssel as contracting authority)

This work package comprehends a feasibility study and analysis of the issues as well as an evaluation of the expediency of measures that an input to the acceleration and improvement of the Amsterdam – Hengelo – Osnabrück – Berlin train line should accomplish, both in the Netherlands and Germany. This connection crosses the EUREGIO area and connects the urban areas in EUREGIO with each other and with the most important urban areas in the Netherlands and Germany, therefore it constitutes a relevant pillar of the train network in the border region.

4: Optimisation of the connection of the Münster-Osnabrück airport (Province of Overijssel as contracting authority)

The Münster-Osnabrück International Airport can be currently reached with an express bus service from Münster´s central station and Ibbenbüren. An improvement of the airport connection for the public traffic would constitute an added value. The objective of this part of the analysis is understanding through a probability test, which airport connection by means of a train-bus connection might be improved. Therefore the connection Hengelo-Rheine, as well as Enschede-Münster, will be taken into consideration.