Inter-regional line Zwolle – Essen

The proposed inter-regional rail line from Apeldoorn to the Ruhr, could also start in Zwolle. It would not then serve Zutphen, but it would still allow interchange (at Deventer) with the main line Amsterdam – Twente – Berlin. This option requires a new by-pass line east of Zutphen, about 7 km long.

The great advantage of this option is the improvement of north-south infrastructure. It would give interchange with the existing main lines to Groningen and Leeuwarden and the proposed high-speed line Zwolle – Groningen. At present, there is no rail route between the Ruhr and the northern Netherlands, and rail travel requires a long detour via Utrecht (Duisburg – Utrecht – Zwolle).

Inter-regional rail line Zwolle - Essen

This proposed service would not replace the planned upgrading of the Apeldoorn – Winterswijk line. A regional service would operate on that section, preferably all the way to Essen. Operating the faster inter-regional service to/from Zwolle would reduce capacity problems at Apeldoorn and Zutphen. On the other hand, it it would require reconstruction of Deventer station, grade-separated junctions on the approach lines, and upgrading of the Deventer – Zwolle line – but all of that is needed anyway.

The new alignment would connect the Zutphen – Ruhr line east of Zutphen, with the Arnhem – Zwolle line south of Deventer. The alignment itself is unproblematic: it passes through farmland with some woodland, about 2 km from the village of Eefde.

Click to enlarge…

Rail bypass of Zutphen, Winterswijk - Deventer line

The new section would begin at Warken, just after the crossing of the N346, at km 7. It would cross the Twente Canal and the Zutphen – Hengelo rail line. It would join the line to Deventer, at km 34, about 1500 m south of the former station of Gorssel. Both junctions would be grade-separated: there would be no track connection with the Zutphen – Hengelo line.

Depending on the exact alignment, the new section would be 6-7 km long. The new Winterswijk – Deventer line would be 54 km long. It is another 45 km, from Deventer to Zwolle.

The new alignment has no consequences for the proposed upgrading of the 71-km Winterswijk – Essen line. The new route would be 170 km long in total. Trains would serve Zwolle, Deventer, Winterswijk, Borken, Dorsten, Gladbeck West, Bottrop, and Essen-Borbeck, terminating at Essen Hauptbahnhof. With upgrading along the entire route, a journey time of two hours would certainly be feasible.

Inter-regional line Zwolle – Essen

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