[NL] First 3-car multisystem FLIRT for Arriva arrives in the Netherlands

Above you see the first 3-car and the first multisystem FLIRT for Arriva in Limburg. It arrived, coming from Poland, in the Netherlands on 19.09.2017 via Venlo. The designated ‘550’ is the first of eight trains in this configuration (serie 550-557).

These EMUs are ordered for the future ‘drielandentreindienst’ connecting Liege/Luik in Belgium with Aachen/Aken in Germany via Maastricht and Heerlen in the Netherlands. These EMUs ar part of 36-unit order placed by Arriva in 2015:

  • 15x 2-car single system 1500V DC, designated 450-464
  • 8x 3-car multisystem 1500V + 3000V DC + 15kV 16 2/3Hz AC, designated 558-570
  • 13x 3-car single system 1500V DC, designated 558-570

In December 2016, all 2-car sets were delivered and commissioned. They are operated on these lines:

  • stoptrein: Maastricht-Randwyck – Maastricht – Heerlen
  • sneltrein: Maastricht-Randwyck – Maastricht – Heerlen
  • stoptrein: Maastricht-Randwyck – Maastricht – Sittard – Roermond

Before the the multisystem trains can be used, the line section between Heerlen (NL) and Herzogenrath (DE) needs to be electrified and the track needs to be doubled. This should all be ready in December 2017. The multisystem 3-trains will have fewer (3 in stead of 5), but wider doors on each side, compared to the ‘normal’ 3-car sets.

In 2020, the ‘Maaslijn’ (Roermond – Nijmegen) will be electrified. Than Arriva will need the normal 3-car trains, that will replace GTW DMUs that are in operation on this moment.

The first 3-car multisystem FLIRT for Arriva in Limburg has arrived in the Netherlands via Venlo. Here the EMU is being transported by Strukton locomotive 303001 at Hedel bound for Amersfoort. 19.09.2017 – Photo: Nico van Haren