Regarding the so-called Wunderline – the fast and comfortable train connection between Groningen and Bremen – the Wunderline steering group has decided on a preferred alternative which can be implemented in a phased manner. The opted alternative shall already substantially reduce travelling from as early as 2024 onwards. After implementing the last phase of the preferred alternative, the trip between Groningen and Bremen shall only take a little over two hours. The go/no-go decision in this context is scheduled to be made by the end of 2018. The introduction of this the quick railway connection shall result in a better general connection between the Northern Netherlands and Northern Germany as well. This will ultimately boost the economic development as well as the quality of life of both border regions.

The abovementioned decision by the Wunderline steering group is to be considered as an important message of intent. “With this joint decision for this preferred alternative, we have together taken yet another new step with our partners towards the Wunderline. During the coming months we shall continue to actively collaborate in the decision development process in order to reach a well-founded – either go or no-go – decision by the end of 2018”, the chairman of the steering group and executive member of the province of Groningen Fleur Gräper-van Koolwijk recently stated. The steering group consists of German and Dutch (government) officials of Land Lower Saxony, Bremen (state), the Province of Groningen, the Dutch Ministry of Infra-structure and Water Management, DB Netz and ProRail.

Lesser travelling time

The preferred alternative shall result in lesser travelling time from 2024 onwards. This first step is scheduled to be implemented simultaneously with the restoration of the Friesenbrücke. This shall call for several infra-structural measures such as for instance doubling railway tracks as well as modifying railway station platforms and signalling systems. According to the preferred alternative a train is expected to be running every two hours within the following couple of years, additionally offering a 30 minute decrease in travelling time compared to the current connection. These two first steps shall require one train change in Leer. In the long run however, a quick direct train connection between Groningen and Bremen should be feasible. In the coming years research shall be done regarding the measures necessary in the field of infrastructure, comfort and accessibility in this context.

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