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A recent provisional contract has been granted, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable future for the Dutch railway sector. Starting on January 1, 2025, the entire electrified rail network in the Netherlands will transition to renewable power sources. The tender process, overseen by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), culminated in a successful bid by energy suppliers PZEM and Shell. This dynamic duo is set to provide sustainable electricity to power the nation’s railway system for a period of three years, beginning in 2025, with an annual supply capacity of 1.46 terawatt hours.

This transition is expected to have a far-reaching impact on rail operations in the Netherlands, but it’s not just NS that stands to gain. The contract also encompasses Dutch rail freight companies because it includes the Betuweroute, a critical rail link that runs from the bustling port of Rotterdam to Zevenaar, a town located near the Dutch-German border, dedicated to rail freight transportation.

The Dutch rail network will experience a significant shift in its power supply dynamics. Up until this recent development, companies involved in rail operations had to manage two separate contracts: one for the Betuweroute and another for the remainder of the Dutch rail network. The new unified contract streamlines these operations and reduces obstacles for rail freight providers in the Netherlands. In a promising move towards sustainability, the power supply will rely on a combination of solar and wind energy sources from various locations across Europe.