The Wunderline will connect Groningen and Bremen, and will be 173 kilometres long. The Netherlands’ stretch measures 49 kilometres, while the distance covered in Germany is 124 kilometres long.
Up until late 2015, the total journey time was 2 hours and 43 minutes. The train connection between Weener and Leer was discontinued in December 2015 after a ship collided with the Friesenbrücke. Train travellers must now undertake part of the trip on an (express) coach.
The Wunderline will considerably shorten the trip between Groningen and Bremen. The track is already in place. Over the years to come, we shall ensure that trains can take this route faster. There are two phases.
Phase 1: faster travel
Up until the end of 2024, we shall be working on increasing speeds between Hoogezand-Sappemeer and Zuidbroek, and between Bad Nieuweschans and Ihrhove. We shall also be doubling the track between Scheemda and Winschoten. The tracks and platforms will be adapted at a number of Dutch and German stations. By the end of 2024, this will already have reduced the travel time to 2 hours and 26 minutes. As the Friesenbrücke will also have been repaired by the end of 2024, travellers will no longer need to switch modes in Weener.
Phase 2: shorter travel time
In the period between 2024 and 2030, we shall be increasing the train speed between Waterhuizen and Kropswolde. Between Zuidbroek and Scheemda, the ground will be improved to facilitate the increased speed. We shall double the track on the stretch between the Friesenbrücke and Ihrhove, while also adapting a number of stations. This will reduce the travel time even further, to a mere 2 hours and 11 minutes.