This article was published in Dutch in the OV-Magazine news of February 5th, 2013..
Chairman Wouter van Gessel of the foundation Freedom of Mobility sees opportunities to bring the public transport at a higher level with vehicles that allow travellers to bring along their own bicycle, e-scooter or mobility scooter. Dutch railways train driver Van Gessel suggests four modes: a new Maglev network to replace Intercity trains, the existing rail network for shorter distances, new rail lines in and around conglomerations, all of which supplemented by individual vehicles like bicycles, e-scooter en mobility scooters. The idea is that you’d then no longer need a car.
The Maglev network consists of 9 corridors that connects all Intercity nodes and airports, supplemented by the short cut connections Den Helder–Leeuwarden, The Hague–Hook of Holland–Vlissingen and Emmen–Assen. International connections are also anticipated. For instance, the corridor Brussels–Antwerp–Roosendaal–Dordrecht–Rotterdam–Rotterdam Airport–The Hague–Schiphol–Amsterdam Zuid–Enschede–Berlin that will replace the high speed train line. Van Gessel selected the Maglev because its acceleration and speed allow for two to five times faster connections compared to intercity trains. Also, Maglev technology is safer and less susceptible to autumn leafs and snow.
He doesn’t consider the substantial construction costs a heavy drawback. The Netherlands can use the natural gas profits and the super fast public transport will make the country a more attractive settlement (for people and businesses). Van Gessel: “Mobility is at the foundation of society. These networks are constructed to last hundreds of years. So you should look at the benefits instead of only the costs.”
On the existing rail network, the ‘InterRegioSprinters’ will run: double deck trains with the upper deck only first class seats, and the lower deck stair-free level doorways for bicycles, e-scooters or mobility scooters. “Those trains will run every two or three minutes and call at every station, as it should be”, says Van Gessel. The network of stretched metro-, light rail- en local-tramways in and around conglomerations is to grow drastically and replace bus lines.