Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Integration…do you need it more than an aperture in the cranial cavity?

Posted in Europe, Infrastructure by Chairman Pip on 28 May 2010

I think most people will agree that, if not integrating, then at least interchanging public transport is a good idea, especially if you are making a journey that needs you to use more than one mode. Anybody therefore that builds a new transport hub without interchange should be classified, alongside the BNP, as a high level moron. So, those clever Dutch should be congratulated for beginning the work to turn one of their major railway termini, Den Haag Centraal, into a fully integrated transport hub ready for the full opening of HSL-Zuid and regular high speed services between Den Haag, Rotterdam and Brussels. This will see both Nederlandse Spoorwegen and Fyra services using the main station. The construction of a new RandstadRail station for the service between Den Haag and Rotterdam will free up additional platforms for the heavy rail services, while the access at the front for both buses and trams will be improved to turn the complex into:

…a new zone in the inner city which meets the requirements of the twenty-first century, with well-coordinated public transport systems and easy access by car. The alterations to the zone will not only result in an improved transport junction, but also in a pleasant living, working and recreation area.

All this, and more besides, for an investment in the region of €800m, of which €500m is planned to come from the private sector. That suggests that there is private money around that can be invested in transport infrastructure projects that will benefit the many. Indeed, the opening of HSL-Zuid will seen Den Haag Centraal as one of what are described as six “key projects” for major refurbishment and upgrade (the others being Amsterdam Zuid, Rotterdam Centraal, Utrecht Centraal, Arnhem Centraal and Breda Centraal). Clearly, not only is the idea of an integrated transport hub, which will more easily allow multi-modal public transport journeys, good in itself, but it can stimulate the private economy to the extent of improving the overall financial state of the nation. Everyone’s a winner. So, who’s for building a high speed rail line?

Den Haag Centraal


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