NETHERLANDS: Infrastructure manager ProRail ran the first test train through a 2·3 km tunnel beneath Delft on November 1, ahead of its planned opening for passenger services in spring 2015.

The tunnel and a new station with 340 m long platforms 8 m underground will replace the existing railway viaduct which currently forms a barrier through the city. Putting the line underground will reduce noise and release around 30 ha of land for property developments including offices and 1 000 homes which are being used to part-fund the project.

There will initially be two tracks through the tunnel, but there is provision for a further pair to be installed later which would provide an increase in capacity with wider benefits across the national network.

The CrommeLijn consortium of CFE, Mobilis and Dura Vermeer began construction of the tunnel in 2008. Strukton Rail installed the track, signalling and electrification, while BAM Utiliteitsbouw built the station which was designed by Benthem Crouwel architects and is being fitted out by Worksphere.

The Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment has contributed €330m to the €1bn cost of the project, with the rest of the funding coming from various tiers of government.