The Dutch railway company Arriveda subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, has submitted an application to the Dutch railway authority competition to operate 26 rail lines between 2026 and 2033.
One of these proposed itineraries includes stops in Antwerp, Brussels andBrussels airport, with service to Belgium from 2027. The move aims to prevent a possible monopoly on the part of Dutch state-owned company NS and comes amid ongoing discussions within the Dutch government over the allocation of the network railway. The company submits an application to the Dutch Consumer and Market Authority (ACM) “before irreversible decisions are made” by the Dutch government to privately award the main rail network to NS until 2033. Brussels Airport and its CEO Arnaud Feist support the proposal because it is part of their objective of promoting train travel as an alternative to short distance flights between Amsterdam And Brussels.
Like other carriers, Arriva opposes NS’s monopoly on the main rail network in the Netherlands. They have already threatened legal action if the new sentence is rejected. The European Commission also called on the Netherlands to respect the rules for awarding public transport contracts.
However, the process involves several steps, including meeting safety standards and obtaining the necessary licenses and rights of way for passenger transportation. Discussions are also underway to possibly bring back Thalys at Brussels Airport station in collaboration with the group Eurostar.