Within Investment 2 – IC connection Eindhoven–Aachen – the existing rail connection between the two important “Brainport” knowledge regions of Eindhoven and Aachen is being upgraded into a high-quality rail connection.
Currently, Eindhoven and Aachen are poorly connected by public transport. Although rail service is provided, there is no quality IC connection. Before the RoCK project, the geographical extent of the Dutch railway concession network (hoofdrailnet concessie) stopped in Heerlen, just before the German border. Thus, there is no adequate IC connection to fill the gap of 20 km to the German and European High Speed Train (HST) network. Furthermore, there are different operating systems on both sides of the border. Today, Dutch IC trains using electrical motor units cannot run on the German voltage network.
Necessary for the IC connection Eindhoven–Aachen is doubling track in some sections and electrifying track between Landgraaf, the Netherlands, and the Dutch/German border. The stakeholders from both sides of the border have to find new innovative solutions regarding ticketing, pricing, operations and contractual arrangement to close the gap between the Dutch and the German railway network as well as the European High Speed Train services.