New freight line opened

18th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 June 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - The Netherlands opened a new freight rail line Saturday linking Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, with Germany, concluding a 10-year project plagued by cost overruns and criticism from environmentalists.

18 June 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - The Netherlands opened a new freight rail line Saturday linking Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, with Germany, concluding a 10-year project plagued by cost overruns and criticism from environmentalists.

Queen Beatrix and EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot attended the opening of the 160- kilometre line to Emmerich, capable of handling 240 trains daily in each direction.

The environmentalist group GroenFront, branding the line an act of megalomania, repeatedly tried to block promotional trains on trial runs, Dutch national Television NOS reported.

"It is a pointless, nature-destroying prestige project," GroenFront said in a statement Saturday.

News reports said the final bill came in at EUR 4.7 billion, about EUR 1 billion above its 1996 budget.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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