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Interfaces between left- and right-hand running networks

At the interface between left- and right-hand running networks (e.g. at borders between France an the rest of Europe) flat crossings or flyovers are in use. The solution is often based on historical circumstances.

left- and right-hand running networks
map of French network
map of German network
map of Benelux network


related articles
direction of running on main networks


 French border-lines
As far as France is concerned, there is indeed a flyover at Imling (ex German 'Imlingen') on the (Paris -) Nancy - Strasbourg line (restricted to 130 km/h), slightly east of the former border point of Nouvel-Avricourt (ex 'Deutsch-Avricourt', later 'Elfringen').
There is also a flyover on the Paris/Nancy - Metz line at the southern entrance of Metz, beyond the former border point of Novéant (ex 'Neuburg in Lothringen').
Same at the former border point of Fontoy (ex 'Fentsch') on the Lille - Metz line.

On the Mulhouse - Dijon/Lyon line, there used to be a flyover at Illfurth (ex 'Illfurt'), close to Mulhouse, and well beyond the former border point of Montreux-Vieux (ex 'Altmünsterol'). As this flyover imposed a speed restriction of 100 km/h, it was flattened in 1968, in the frame of the electrification of Mulhouse - Belfort (with a 160 km/h upgrade). The change now takes place in Mulhouse station, merely by flat crossing in the western side of the station.

Due to historical circumstances trains still use the left and right track on the line Strasbourg - Saint-Dié - Epinal. The section Rothau - Saint-Dié was built double tracked in 1928, while the eastern section Molsheim - Rothau was extended by a second track. The new line is still operated on the left track in opposite to the rest of Alsace-Lorraine. Trains between Strasbourg and Epinal run on the right track until Molsheim to continue their journey on the left track from Mutzig until Rothau, where to second tracks towards Saint-Die has been meanwhile removed.

LGV Est Paris-Strasbourg will be left-running throughout. This means that the Baudrecourt Junction (ex 'Baldershofen', used by Paris - Strasbourg/ Stuttgart/ Zürich services until stage 2 is completed) will have a further flyover to allow for the change. The chord between Baudrecourt and the Metz - Saarbrucken line (to be used by Paris - Frankfurt services) will be single-tracked, so no flyover required.
When stage 2 (Baudrecourt - Vendenheim, in the outskirts of Strasbourg) enters service, there will be two extra junctions with an extra flyover: one in Réding (ex 'Riedingen') to allow for regional TGVs Nancy - Strasbourg, and the other one in Vendenheim, at the end of the LGV.
Now that the plans for a cross-border LGV between Vendenheim (FR) and Baden-Baden or Achern (D) are being reveived, there might also be a flyover close to the new bridge to be built over the Rhine, to allow for a smooth transition between French and German domains.

There will also be a flyover on the long-awaited Perpignan - Figueras LGV, in French territory, slightly North of an impressive viaduct to be launched over the Tech. The flyover will allow 350 km/h.


 Belgian border-lines
Concerning the Belgian-Dutch lines, there is currently no flyover. Mere flat junctions in Roosendaal and Maastricht stations, instead.

On the HSL between Antwerp and Rotterdam the change between left and right hand running will be situated just south of Rotterdam. There is a flyover being build that leads the western, north going track (left hand running) of the HSL to the most eastern track of the existing 4-track railway Dordrecht-Rotterdam. In the neighbourhood of Breda 2 more flyovers for changing left to right hand running are being build to accommodate trains from Breda running to Antwerp and to Rotterdam via the HSL.
Crossing the border

On Liège - Aachen, Thalys/ICE services will still use the existing flyover when crossing the Belgian-German border. Extensive works are planned in connection to rebuilding of Buschtunnel.
based on a newsgroup posting by P.L. Guillemin,
additions by Wim Edelman, Wesley van Drongelen and Jean-Pascal Hoffmann


 Swedish border-lines
Since Swedish trains operate in left-hand traffic and Danish trains in right-hand traffic, trains traveling between the two countries have to switch tracks. Such a switch must be conducted in a grade-separated junction due to the intensive traffic.

related links
Planskild spŚrkorsning ArlŲv - MalmŲ
The grade-separated junction is to be built at the Sege industrial site, between the inner ring road and Lommavägen in Arlöv.
The assignment includes landscaping and concrete works, such as a 210-meter-long concrete tunnel for two railway tracks plus an adjacent drainage system totaling 210 meters. The assignment also includes approximately 500 meters of retaining walls and 450 meters of soundproofing shields.
Other aspects of the assignment include pump stations, landscaping for the railway track, a new service road and plantation works.
The project will commence immediately, in the form of project planning, and production is scheduled to start on April 1, 2004. The tunnel and the landscaping works for the tracks leading up to the tunnel are to be completed around the end of 2006. The entire project, including landscaping works for the railway track above the tunnel, is scheduled for completion by September 2008.
press release by NCC Construction Sweden,
thanks to faroflyg@hotmail.com

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