The Zuiderzeelijn as a development motor for the peripheral Northern Netherlands and as an option for Northwestern Germany?


Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2003

18 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Excerpt

1. Introduction – Zweeftrein of Luchtfiets?

Een radicale verbetering van de infrastructuur (quantum leap)

is een noodzakelijke randvoorwaarde voor de verbetering

van de economische structuur van Nederland

M.C.J. van Pernis

(Voorzitter Consortium Transrapid Nederland)

In the late 1990s the Dutch government mandated the Langman commission (named after its chairman, the former liberal minister of economic affairs, Hargert Langman) to develop a guideline for the northern provinces of the Netherlands to overcome the economic arrear compared to the Randstad, the economic heart of the country.

One crucial part of the advice the Commission made in 1998 was the creation of a fast public transport connection (often mentioned as the Zuiderzeelijn) between the Randstad and Groningen over the Flevopolder to stimulate the economic development of the north by connecting it to the Randstad.

However, many different possibilities to fulfil this advice have been discussed. The most spectacular and most controversial transport option is the magnetic levitation train, the so-called Transrapid, which has recently been built in Shanghai (China). This option is not only supposed to be the fastest but is also supposed to most sustainably stimulate the economic development in the north. This track must be seen in an European context as well. The German federal states of Hamburg, Bremen and Lowe Saxony (Niedersachsen) announced interest in building the track further over Leer, Oldenburg and Bremen to Hamburg, if the ultimate decision of the Dutch government will be in favour of the Transrapid technology. Even a north-European approach could be imaginable in the opinion of some visionaries, an Eurorapid Amsterdam-Hamburg-Stockholm.

The main questions this paper tries to deal with in this context are

- How far can a Transrapid connection between Amsterdam and Groningen (and possibly Hamburg and Stockholm) stimulate the development of the peripheral regions of northern Netherlands and northwestern Germany?
- How can this high-speed connection be seen in the wider context of an European transport policy?
- Have the expectations of spatial and economic effects been overvalued?

In the first part of the paper the different projects will be introduced and in a second step discussed briefly in their political and socio-economic contexts. The main emphasis lies on the discussion of the effects on the spatial and socio-economic developments in chapter 4.

Zweeftrein of Luchtfiets – Magnetic Levitation Train or Air Bike? That is basically the question this paper tries to approach.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

2.0 Brief description of the announced projects

2.1 Zuiderzeelijn Amsterdam - Groningen

In April 1998 the national Dutch government promised the regional authorities in the north of the Netherlands to construct a fast link between the conurbation Randstad and Groningen (capital of the province of Groningen) via the Flevopolders and Friesland. This link can be realised by several routes and by different technologies, the possibilities are in short (see also map 1):

Hanzelijn (HZL) or Hanzelijn-plus (HZL+) would use the existing railways (which have to be upgraded) between Amsterdam and Lelystad and between Zwolle and Groningen and a newly constructed railway between Lelystad en Zwolle. This railway would be served by InterCity-trains (HZL), maybe also using high-speed trains (HZL+).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

map 1: map with the trajects of the different alternatives (source: Project Zuiderzeelijn Stakeholders 2001, bijlage 1)

Zuiderzeelijn Intercity connection (ZZL-IC) using the existing tracks between Amsterdam and Lelystad and further constructing a new railway via Emmeloord, Herenveen to Leeuwarden resp. via Drachten to Groningen. This railconnection is served by Intercity-trains.

- Zuiderzeelijn as a highspeed-line (HSL) with a completely new constructed railway for highspeed trains between Amsterdam and Groningen via Almere, Lelystad, Emmeloord, Herenveen and Drachten.
- the same trajectory as proposed for the HSL connection, but served by magnetic levitation trains Transrapid (MZB resp. MZM).

Following the realization of the Hanzelijn, the travel time Amsterdam – Groningen will be 125 minutes. The travel time for the magnetically levitated options depends on the operating concept. The Metro version (MZM) stops at all stations, the commuters version (MZB) does not stop in Lelystad, Emmeloord and Drachten. The following tables gives an overview on the different travel times and stations.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1: travel times from Schiphol for the fastest way of transportation per alternative (source: Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat 2001, p. 16)

This paper will concentrate on the magnetic levitation options for the Zuiderzeelijn, because the expected economic effects are said to be the highest in case of the realization of this option.

Depending on the operating concepts (MZB or MZM) the costs will vary between 6.3 and 6.5bn euros for the 186 kilometers long track. There are between 22.3 and 27.3m travellers per year expected, the Transrapid trains will cover the whole track in approximately 50 minutes. The aim of the government is that the economically weaker regions in the north of the Netherlands will gather development options by a highspeed connection with the Randstad, especially stimulated by such a futuristic new mode of transport. That is why the preference is on the fastest options (MZB/MZM or HSL), although there is still no definitive decision made. The desire expressed by the second Kok government to work closely with the regional authorities in the realization of this project was put into practice early in 2002 with the signature of a Letter of Intent. In this Letter, the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, and the Chairman of the Zuiderzeelijn Steering Committee, agreed to draw up a Cooperation Agreement containing clear agreements on this cooperation. The signature of the Cooperation Agreement Zuiderzeelijn is planned for mid 2003. However, the final decision-making process regarding the definitive form of the Zuiderzeelijn will take place between 2006 and 2008, constructing is supposed to start before 2010.

(sources: Homepage Zuiderzeelijn 2003; OCenW 2000, pp. 85-87; VenW 2001, pp. 34-38, 107-108; VROM 2001, pp.203-212)

[...]

Excerpt out of 18 pages

Details

Title
The Zuiderzeelijn as a development motor for the peripheral Northern Netherlands and as an option for Northwestern Germany?
College
Utrecht University  (Urban and Regional Geography)
Course
Transportation and Housing in Europe
Grade
1,0
Authors
Year
2003
Pages
18
Catalog Number
V42225
ISBN (eBook)
9783638403122
File size
716 KB
Language
English
Notes
In the late 1990s the Dutch government mandated the Langman commission to develop a guideline for the northern provinces of the Netherlands to overcome the economic arrear compared to the Randstad, the economic heart of the country. The most spectacular and most controversial transport option is the magnetic levitation train, the so-called Transrapid, which has recently been built in Shanghai (China).
Tags
Netherlands
Quote paper
Hilmar Schimming (Author)Daniel Boedecker (Author), 2003, The Zuiderzeelijn as a development motor for the peripheral Northern Netherlands and as an option for Northwestern Germany?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/42225

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