The Hamburg-Antwerp Express
The Hamburg-Antwerp Express is an international IC service between Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. This train will connect Hamburg, Bremen, Groningen, Utrecht and Antwerp in a 7 hour journey.
Advantages of traveling with the Hamburg-Antwerp Express
✓ Direct connection between three countries
✓ Faster journey time between Groningen and Northern Germany
✓ Direct connections to Germany and Belgium from Zwolle and Utrecht
✓ Alternative connection between Northern Belgium and The Netherlands
A journey between Antwerp and Hamburg will take 7 hours and 11 minutes. The first train leaves Antwerp at 07:14, and the last one at 21:14. The stops at Groningen and Leer are 10 minutes or longer to be able to combine the train with the diesel powered locomotive. The train switches direction at Groningen and Bremen Hauptbahnhof.
Between Utrecht Centraal and Groningen this train runs on the path of the existing IC service between Rotterdam Centraal and Groningen.
A journey between Hamburg and Antwerp will take 7 hours and 4 minutes. The first train leaves Hamburg at 05:08, and the last one at 21:08.
The Hamburg-Antwerp Express will operate in a push-pull configuration. Trains will be hauled (or pushed) by a Class 220 locomotive. A train-set will consist of one locomotive, a 1st class car, a buffet car with 1st class seats, four 2nd class cars and a cab car with 2nd class seats.
Class 220 Locomotive
✓ Top speed 220 km/h
✓ Can run on multiple electrical overhead systems
✓ No locomotive changes required at border stations
✓ Top speed 220 km/h
✓ Integrated wheelchair ramp
✓ Wheelchair accessible doors in 1st and 2nd class
✓ Wheelchair accessible bathrooms
Class 15.5 Diesel locomotive
✓ Top speed 160 km/h
✓ Diesel powered
✓ Hauls or pushes the train between Groningen and Leer
The First Class Interior
The Hamburg-Antwerp Express will have two 1st class cars. Each carriage will have two wheelchair accessible seating areas and toilets. One carriage will also have a buffet section. Red is the primary color of the 1st class interiors.
The Second Class Interior
The Hamburg-Antwerp Express will have five 2nd class carriages. One or two of these cars should be wheelchair accessible via an integrated wheelchair ramp. Every seat has a luggage rack above the windows. Per carriage there are four spaces for larger pieces of luggage. These are situated behind the seats closest to the entry doors.
The Buffet will be located in the second 1st class car. The 1st class compartment and toilet of this carriage will be wheelchair accessible.
A total of twelve train-sets would be needed to operate all services during the day, including additional train-sets that can be added during rush-hours. Three diesel locomotives Class 15.5 would be needed for operation on the line between Groningen and Leer. Most of the train-sets will stay at Roosendaal, Groningen and Hamburg overnight.
Operating this IC service will also require the construction of a new direct railway line between the cities Utrecht and Breda. This railway line would roughly follow along highway A27 and a number of new stations would be built, including Gorinchem West and Oosterhout, where the Hamburg-Antwerp Express would also stop. You can read more about this new railway line here.