Rail Benelux 2014


 This report provides insights into the main line and urban rail transport sectors in the three Benelux countries – Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. While well established, the networks of this densely populated region of Europe are constantly having to adapt and expand to meet growing economic, social and environmental demands.

Passenger operations are characterised by high-frequency short-haul services, steadily improving regional connections and cross-border links of increasingly high quality as European Union countries become more integrated.

In the rail freight sector, while traditional heavy industries remain important sources of traffic, the main growth area has been in maritime container movements to and from the North Sea ports of Belgium and the Netherlands. This has stimulated competition, with services extending deep into other parts of Europe. 

With only limited scope to add significantly more railway infrastructure in any of these three countries, the investment focus is on adding capacity to existing networks through track improvements, enhanced train control technologies and the procurement of better performing rolling stock.

Similar strategies are being applied to metro and tram systems, with network enhancements intended to meet urban mobility needs and reduce dependence on car use through the provision of better public transport.

Aimed at businesses and individuals seeking a concise overview of the rail market in the three Benelux countries, this report examines the structure of their main line and urban rail sectors, the companies providing services and the rolling stock they operate. Network enhancement projects are also summarised and website links are provided to enable users of this report to carry out additional research.