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However, this requires substantial investments – not so much in physical infrastructure, but mainly in international rail network services. With improved services, and only limited investments in physical infrastructure, international train travel could become a viable alternative and supplement to flights under 700 km. European airports should therefore develop into multimodal transport hubs, in order to seamlessly integrate improved rail transport with the aviation network.

For a number of places you can already predict that they will get such an air-rail hub: Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid, Rome and… Schiphol – if we want that. The airports of Frankfurt and Paris are already taking big steps, and if Royal Schiphol Group and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines do not want to miss their connection, we will have to start now with a long-term plan and cooperation between governments and transport operators. The Dutch government and the EU have an important role to play in this.

Read more in this opinion piece in de Volkskrant by Jasper van Kuijk, Suzanne Hiemstra-van Mastrigt, Wijnand Veeneman, and Sicco Santema: (article in Dutch)

Illustration by Rhonald Blommestijn (de Volkskrant)
Jasper van Kuijk
Lab Director
Suzanne Hiemstra-van Mastrigt

Dr. ir. Suzanne Hiemstra-van Mastrigt