Ambities van en naar Duitsland

Ambitions to and from Germany

Every year, 2.5 million people travel across the Dutch-German border with ICE International and Intercity Berlin. These trains are therefore an indispensable link for business traffic between the Netherlands and Germany. NS strives for faster and more frequent train connections to the east, both to Frankfurt and Berlin. That is possible. But then we must ensure that there is sufficient rail capacity.

Current offer

  • ICE International: 8x a day to, among others, Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt
  • Intercity Berlin: 7x a day to Hannover and Berlin
  • Every night a night train in both directions between Dusseldorf and Innsbruck-Wenen, with a connecting ICE International train to the Netherlands


  • Intercity Berlin: Make train faster (less than 5 hrs)
  • ICE International: Make train faster, and increase the number of seats
  • 1x a day to Brussels

(Inter)national potential

ICE International connects regions with European airports such as Schiphol, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn with major economic centres such as Munich and Stuttgart. With sufficient rail capacity, much more can be gained from these connections. At present, high-speed trains only reach their top speed between Cologne and Frankfurt. This is due to intense use of the existing track. In the long run, the track between Utrecht and Arnhem will even have to deal with the ever-growing flow of domestic passengers. ICE International is, therefore, more likely to slow down rather than speed up on this route.

East-West corridor

NS aims for faster and more frequent train connections by significantly improving the East-West corridor. This will improve the national train service and create room for faster international train connections to the east. This plan has broad support among others by the province of Gelderland, VNO NCW and the banking sector. We must, therefore, make additional investments in sufficient tracks in the Amsterdam region.

On Germany's end

Track extensions are also needed in the Ruhr area, to increase the frequency of trains between Amsterdam and Cologne/Frankfurt. Together with DB, NS is also investigating the possibilities for a direct connection between The Hague and the Ruhr area, despite the heavy traffic on the track. The fact that the port of Rotterdam has grown strongly is also a factor. On Germany’s end, however, some infrastructural modifications are still needed.

Faster to Berlin

Intercity Berlin runs with an NS train in the Netherlands, and a DB train in Germany. NS has decided to buy new trains that can continue to run to Berlin. The intention is that Intercity Berlin can run non-stop over a high-speed track in Germany. This will save half an hour. Another measure to make a trip to Berlin faster is to reduce the number of stops at the domestic stations. A few infrastructural bottlenecks still need to be solved to bring about a structural improvement.