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Three-country train service to start running in December

13:49 18/03/2023

The long-planned “three-country train” linking Liège, Maastricht and Aachen will finally start running in December, ministers from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands announced this week.

The train will run every hour and allow passengers to move between the three countries without having to change trains.

“Travellers will now have more destinations, more comfort and fully accessible trains across national borders,” Belgian mobility minister Georges Gilkinet said.

“The fact that the different operators and the different political levels are working so well together for this purpose is a real step forward.”

The three railway companies responsible for running the trains, SNCB, NS and Arriva, have signed a declaration of intent, which the relevant transport ministries said “also constitutes the official commissioning of the service”.

While the Maastricht-Aachen link had already been put into service at the start of 2019, the decision from Belgian authorities to impose additional conditions on the railway companies prevented Liège from being serviced. These conditions included requiring the trains to be equipped with the European Train Control System.

Dutch state secretary Vivianne Heijnen said that there were still a number of practical questions to consider before the service could start operating.

“Trains must be adapted, timetables must be aligned, operators must work together,” she said.

“Thanks to the commitment and perseverance of everyone, we will ensure that this train can run.”

Photo: Loan Silvestre/Belga

Written by Paul Millar