A faster train connection between Luxembourg and Brussels might be delayed until 2028, the transport ministers of both countries announced during a press conference on Thursday, June 3rd in Kirchberg. In 2028, the faster train will reduce the the time spent on the journey by more than initially thought.
Already back in January, François Bausch (déi Gréng) and Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) had asked the European Commission for funds to upgrade the line. Bausch expressed that he wants to see the length of the journey between the two European capitals reduced to two hours.
Being able to reduce the travel time by half an hour between our capitals would already be a first step. We have ambitions to go furtherGeorges Gilkinet, Belgium’s Minister of Transport
The Belgian minister stated that the project will cost more than €300m, with €70m already invested with the support of the EU. A request for more EU funds has not been successful, however, even though 2021 is the European Year of Rail and the EU as a whole would like to see greener mobility options as part of its European Green Deal.
Ministers of all political colors constantly announce how important the railway is to replace air traffic. For an important centerpiece like Brussels-Luxembourg–to connect two European capitals–the European Union doesn’t manage, this cannot beFrançois Bausch
According to Delano News, Luxembourg and Belgium signed a letter of intent in 2016, pledging to reduce travel time between the two capitals by around an hour to 2 hours and 7 minutes by 2023. This target, however, was later abandoned. In 2020, authorities in Belgium reported that the works would take at least another five years to complete. The current expected date is now 2028.
Gilkinet explained that there are some significant challenges to the project. Several curves along the path which need to be straightened to allow trains to pick up more speed. The trip currently takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes