The railway extension between Zwolle and Herfte is ready for use. Since Saturday 24 July the track has been in service and trains are running through a brand new dive-under. A tremendous achievement by contractor combination NoorderSpoort, consisting of VolkerWessels Infrastructure companies VolkerRail, Van Hattum and Blankevoort and KWS.
The project: To accommodate the growing train traffic around Zwolle Station, space is needed. The track between Zwolle and the junction at Herfte is now a bottleneck. By laying extra tracks here, trains from and to Emmen or Meppel will no longer have to wait for each other. In this way, Zwolle will be better used as an important transfer station. An extensive project for which various VolkerWessels companies are joining forces.
Commissioned by the Zwolse Alliantie Zwaluw (Alliance between ProRail and VolkerWessels), the work will be carried out by NoorderSpoort, a combination consisting of VolkerWessels companies VolkerRail, Van Hattum and Blankevoort and KWS. VolkerRail is responsible for all rail activities, Van Hattum and Blankevoort works on various civil engineering structures within the area and KWS carries out ground and asphalt work, among other things.
Extra track and a rail crossing
The project is part of ProRail's North Netherlands Rail Plan, a plan to enable faster travel in the north of the Netherlands and to the Randstad conurbation through the deployment of more trains, better interchanges, new connections and faster travel.
We are building two new tracks between Zwolle and the railway junction at Herfte. We are also building a free rail junction at Herfte. This is a so-called 'dive-under', a tunnel of approximately 700 metres, through which trains will cross each other above and below. Because of this, the trains to Meppel and Emmen each have their 'own' track.
Because of the railway expansion to Herfte we are building extra railway viaducts over existing roads(Hortensiastraat, Marsweg and Ceintuurbaan). Over watercourses such as the Almelose Kanaal and the Zalnese Wetering we will build new railway viaducts and replace the old steel railway bridges. This ensures less noise. We also move and remove various tracks and switches.
Consideration and traffic
Because we are expanding the track, the traffic situation on the route also needs to be addressed. That is why we are renovating the level crossings Herfterlaan and Valkenbergweg. We are also replacing the Selhorst level crossing with a road over the dive-under. We are shifting roads and cycle paths and constructing separate roads for maintenance and emergency services.
At the end of 2018, the project started with the uprooting of trees and planting and the relocation and clearing of cables and pipelines. The project will be completed in mid-2022.