On European railways - 1999

The arrival of the high-speed train led to a boom in planning and discussions at the end of the last century. On European Railways, an inventory is made of the spatial consequences of the 'speed camera'. This happens at a time when the plans are still on the drawing boards. Supporters and opponents have their say: the ministry is committed to a competitive Randstad, in Zevenbergschen Hoek the houses are demolished.

The cities with a high-speed line stop - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utecht, The Hague (ultimately no stopover), Arnhem, Breda and Schiphol - are working on the renewal of their station areas, the so-called New Key Projects. Cobouwjournalist Tom Maas poses the rhetorical question in the magazine Op Europees Spoor whether revitalisation of station areas will stand or fall with the advent of the HSL or whether it will take place in any case.

The 115 kilometres of HSL-South have arrived. The route moves like a cakewalk through the water-rich and densely populated part of the Netherlands. The HSL-East has been blown off. The 'cover plans' of the municipalities of Abcoude, Bunnik, Maarn, Ede and Wolfheze therefore also expired.

The construction and operation of the HSL South are not without their problems. Construction costs EUR 5.3 billion more than planned, an overrun of 55%. In 2004, the parliamentary Temporary Committee on Infrastructure Projects reported that 'the complexity, the urge for the prestigious and a large dose of self-over-estimation require more political control from now on'. Not long after that, the next parliamentary committee of inquiry will publish a devastating report on the tender and admission of the Fyra trains on the track.

The magazine shows the plans for the railway bridges, tunnels, time and distance maps, the new working and residential areas and the connection to the European network. With contributions from the director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute Kristin Feireiss, State Secretary for Culture Rick van der Ploeg, Luuk Boelens and Wies Sanders and Frank Stroeken of Holland Railconsult, Willem-Jan van Grondelle of Stichting Natuur en Milieu, Olof Koekebakker, Peter Timmerman, editor of Cobouw Tom Maas, J.D. Stoutenbeek of Projectbureau Zuidas, chairman of VNO/NCW J.C. Blankert, director of NS Vastgoed H.E. Portheine, architecture journalist Bernard Hulsman, government architect Wytze Patijn, director Nirov Jaap Modder, professor of philosophy at the University of Twente Hans Achterhuis, artist Moniek Toebosch, architecture writer Hans van Dijk, Cilly Jansen and Ton Idsinga of Architectuur Lokaal, Philosophical anthropologist Petran Kockeltoren University of Twente, director of Vereniging Natuurmonumenten Frans Evers, senior lecturer in urban design at the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft, John Alex Westrik, professor of policy and administration at the University of Amsterdam, Maarten Hajer, Member of the Rover Eddie Pelle Association.