In this section a brief overview of the steps in the construction and upgrading of the infrastructure.
Construction of the intercity network
The construction of new infrastructure can expect many objections because of noise and visual pollution. It is positive that the Zuiderzeelijn studies concluded that in these aspects Maglev causes much less nuisance compared to conventional rail. But still, residents should be involved in the project and compensated for any damage.
Within cities the costs for above ground construction is more expensive due to the existing buildings. Fortunately, the tunnel boring technique in the Netherlands has now matured. The risks can now be much better estimated. We therefore propose to connect the intercity network underground to the stations in case the above-ground route meets with objections. Antwerp Station , but also metro and various Japanese stations are good examples of such multi-level stations.
Outside urban areas the track must be elevated. This might be more expensive than at grade, but a frequent service is impossible with level crossings. Moreover, any casualty on the track, whether by suicide or accident, is one too many. This and the saving of inconvenience to passengers and staff make it worth the extra investment.
Dutch construction companies are experienced in constructing the required beams for an elevated track. With their knowledge, it should be possible to create a cheaper foundation. As the foundation is a major cost component in this type of constructions. It already helps that a maglev track is less heavily loaded than ordinary rail.
Modifications to existing infrastructure
The existing rail network will have to be incrementally converted to the 16 corridor system.
The 25 kV and ERTMS/ETCS system will be introduced.
Level crossings are then replaced by tunnels and viaducts.
Only then the number of switches can be reduced and platforms permanently adapted to the requirements for single-person vehicles.
Of course, this can not happen in one go.
To minimize inconvenience to passengers, the new intercity network and modifications to the existing infrastructure should be executed in phases.
- First the new intercity connection between two train stations is constructed.
- As soon as the new connection is in use, the work can begin on the existing railroad between the same two train stations.
- Every time a track segment is modified between two intermediate stations of the line.
- Meanwhile, the new Maglev-connection serves as by-pass.