Howald works captured with a drone; Credit: CFL

Luxembourg's railway company, the CFL, has presented its 2024 programme of major infrastructure, upkeep and maintenance works during a press conference organised this Tuesday 30 January 2024.

The conference took place in the presence of Marc Wengler, Managing Director, Marc Hoffmann, Director of Passenger Activities and Alain Bombardella, Head of the Infrastructure Management department at the CFL.

Our ambitious multi-year work programme is being carried out to continue to serve our customers in Luxembourg and the Greater Region over the long term, with the high level of safety and quality that they deserve,” said Marc Wengler, General Director of CFL. He added that the new record attendance of CFL trains in 2023, 28.7 million passengers, encouraged the company to continue its modernisation efforts with the ambition of being “the first choice of citizens in terms of mobility”.

The new multimodal exchange hubs set up near strategic stations in the country, the new two-track railway line between Luxembourg and Bettembourg or the extension or even the redevelopment of the main stations in the country demonstrate our desire to adapt our offer to the needs mobility of tomorrow,” explained Alain Bombardella, Head of the CFL Infrastructure Management department.

This work is being carried out in particular in anticipation of the arrival of our new Coradia Stream High Capacity railcars and the extension of our existing trains in order to offer even more seats to our customers,” explained Marc Hoffmann, Director of Passenger Activities at CFL. “Thanks to the 34 new Coradia railcars which will gradually be put into service from the end of the first half of 2024, we will be able to increase our seating capacity by around 46% by 2025-2026. Thus, the Coradia in multiple units (3x3 cars) will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 customers per train. However, one of the sine qua non conditions for expanding this offer was the extension of the platforms of the country's main stations, up to 250 metres.”

The transformation of Rodange station as a new multimodal exchange hub (bus, train, car, bicycle) of reference for the southwest of the country is nearing completion. By the end of the first half of the year, the station will have been completely redeveloped on a railway level with – among other things – the addition of a platform track in the past as well as the adaptation of the track plan to allocate a platform on each line, a measure which will avoid the crossing of trains of different lines and will promote punctuality, the CFL noted. The year 2024 will be used, among other things, for the installation of the western underground which will allow barrier-free access to the Rodange quays.

To facilitate the transition from the car to public transport and more particularly to the train, the CFL has been setting up P+R car parks located at key points of the rail network. While 2,000 parking spaces have been made available to their customers in 2023 (P+R of Rodange and Mersch), the CFL announced it is currently building a P+R at Troisvierges station. From 2025, 389 new parking spaces will be available to train users in the north of the country. The construction of three other car parks at the Wecker stops (160 spaces in two car parks as well as a Bikebox) and Colmar-Berg (200 additional parking spaces) is also planned for 2024.

The new two-track railway line (Neubaustrecke, NBS) over seven kilometres between Luxembourg and Bettembourg occupies one of the major places on the CFL agenda. After a gradual entry into service in 2027, it will lead in 2028 to a considerable improvement in the offer with 50% more seats and up to eight trains per hour for the Lorraine route (Luxembourg – Thionville/Nancy line), direct trains Luxembourg – Dudelange – Volmerange-les-Mines as well as enhanced punctuality thanks to the separate operation of the Luxembourg – Esch/Alzette – Rodange and Luxembourg – Thionville/Nancy lines.

There are large-scale works planned for 2024, including the finalisation of engineering structures, in addition to the one via which the N31 road will span the railway tracks. In coordination with the planning of the National Roads Administration which will replace the Hamme Bridge this summer relative to Bettembourg, the CFL will prepare the connection of the NBS on-site during two periods of closure of railway traffic (during July-August and August-September).

The transformation of the Howald railway stop into a strategic multimodal interchange (bus, train, tram, bicycle) for the west of the capital is also on the agenda this year. The quay and the two additional tracks that will be built in 2024 will expand the capacity of the site given the separate operation of the lines Luxembourg – Esch/Alzette – Rodange and Luxembourg – Thionville/Nancy at the time of the commissioning of the NBS. The construction of the new Luxembourg - Bettembourg line and the increase in railway traffic at the Luxembourg station also requires the addition of an entry/exit gate to the country's main station. In this context, the CFL will carry out a large-scale operation in 2024: completely reconfigure the triage of the Luxembourg station with the renewal of 8.5 km of tracks and the installation of 36 switches.

Indispensable to maintain the safety and comfort of customers, maintenance and modernisation work is planned on the railway network in 2024 with the renewal of 21.6 km of railway tracks (including five kilometres between Mamer and Bertrange), the laying of 33,900 traverses and 54 track devices.

In line with their strategic priority of safety, the CFL also provided for the removal of level crossings PN 117 and PN 118a at Colmar-Usines. These are “potentially dangerous meeting places” between rail and road networks.

Furthermore, at the beginning of 2024, the CFL will make available a new interactive tool “Info Travaux”. Available on the website and the CFL mobile application, this customisable module – developed internally by the CFL – will allow clients to know the impact of the work on their journey through a customisable search.