Lelystad–Zwolle railway

Route of the Hanzelijn
Line length50 km (31 mi)
Track gaugeStandard (1,435 mm or 4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification1.5 kV DC
Route map
line from Almere
0.0 Lelystad Centrum
3.2 Lelystad yard
20.6 Dronten
Drontermeer tunnel
34.2 Kampen Zuid
line from Amersfoort
IJssel river
line to Meppel

The Lelystad–Zwolle railway, also known as the Hanzelijn (English: Hanseatic Line), is a Dutch railway line, finished in 2012. It connects Lelystad, capital of the province of Flevoland, with Zwolle, capital of the neighbouring province of Overijssel, and provides a direct rail link between Flevoland and the north-east of the Netherlands.


The Hanzelijn project was essentially a less-costly alternative to the Zuiderzeelijn (Zuiderzee Line), a projected new Lelystad-Groningen line via Emmeloord, Heerenveen and Drachten for which planning was cancelled in 2007.

Work started in January 2007 and was completed in December 2012. Two new stations have been built: Dronten and Kampen Zuid. The maximum speed on most of the line is 200 km/h (120 mph), though no Dutch domestic rolling stock can achieve speeds greater than 160 km/h (99 mph), until 2021. Also trains using the railway do not run faster than 140 km/h (87 mph) since only ATB-EG is being used by the trains currently using the railway. The railway was opened by Queen Beatrix as the Dutch Royal Train traversed the line on 6 December 2012, and scheduled services began operating on Sunday, 9 December 2012.[1] The journey from Lelystad to Zwolle will take 30 minutes, reducing the time taken from Amsterdam to Zwolle – and further north – by about 15 minutes. The total length of the new track is 50 km.[2][3][4]


The line includes a 790 m (2,592 ft) tunnel under the Drontermeer (the semi-artificial channel separating the mainland from the reclaimed Eastern Flevoland), and joins the existing Utrecht–Zwolle–Kampen rail line just before the 1 km (0.6 mile) high-level fixed bridge over the river IJssel. This new bridge, which includes a separate pedestrian and cycle track, opened on 14 June 2011, replacing a rail-only twin-span vertical-lift drawbridge.

Tunnel under the Drontermeer

Journey times

The Hanzelijn has shortened journey times between Zwolle and Amsterdam by at least 10 minutes, and up to 20 minutes for some journeys. Interliner express bus route 330, which connected Lelystad and Zwolle, was discontinued upon opening of the Hanzelijn.

New rail bridge near Zwolle over the river IJssel, viewed towards the East. This bridge carries the Hanzelijn, and the Utrecht-Kampen railway.

See also


  1. ^ "45,000 travellers pack the train on Opening Day [Dutch]". hanzelijn-hattem.nl. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  2. ^ Largest Hanze Line contract signed, Railway Gazette International, 2009-05-26, retrieved 2009-08-31
  3. ^ Peter Badcock (2006-12-01), Netherlands: Hanze Line construction ready to start, Railway Gazette International, retrieved 2009-08-31
  4. ^ Running faster in the Netherlands, Railway Gazette International, 2008-03-17, retrieved 2009-08-31

External links

  • (in Dutch) Hanzelijn

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