Arriva to start new The Hague-Brussels train connection

Private train operator Arriva is to begin a regular service between The Hague and Brussels in 2015, The Hague city council said on Thursday.

The new ‘Lowlands Line’ will run once an hour stopping at several stations en route, including Rotterdam and Antwerp. The service is due to begin in December 2015 but may start earlier, the Volkskrant reported.

The Hague put the connection between the Dutch and Belgian seats of government out to tender when the ‘Benelux’ line was scrapped by Dutch rail operator NS following the introduction of the high-speed Fyra last December.

When the Fyra was taken out of service earlier in June, the NS reinstated the Benelux line between The Hague and Brussels with eight trains per day. An NS spokesman told the NRC earlier this week the company was aiming to restore the original service of 16 trains a day.

The Hague was able to put the service out to tender because, although national train operators need a concession to use the rails, international connections are open to everyone under EU law.

Italian concern

In the meantime, it was announced on Thursday that Italian prime minister Enrico Letta will meet Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte next week to discuss the Fyra situation.

Letta is concerned that Fyra train maker AnsaldoBreda is being unfairly blamed for the serious technical failings that caused the high-speed train to be cancelled. He is worried about the future of the Italian producer and the good name of the Italian technology sector, according to media reports.


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