The M55 consortium led by Mott MacDonald has submitted a feasibility study for operating company Werkmaatschappij Almere-Amsterdam (WAA) to assess the viability of a railway connection between Amsterdam-South and Almere-South Centre through the IJmeer Lake in the Netherlands. The 20km line includes a 9km long tunnel under IJburg and IJmeer, with two new underground stations.
Planned to support urban growth in eastern Amsterdam and in Almere, where over 25,000 new homes are planned, the new line will provide a fast and efficient connection between major developments planned for IJburg, phase 2 and Almere Pampus.
Martijn Donders, Mott MacDonald project manager commented: “From our initial innovative alternative outline design, to our now completed feasibility study, we have developed a strong business case for the new rail link. The project is attracting intense public and political interest and our proposal is extremely strong on crucial issues such as environmental impact, ease of use and integration into the urban landscape, and the economic benefit. Our solution also provides for phased implementation.”
The line will include five new stations, three above ground, with potential for further stations along the line. One of the underground stations, planned within IJburg phase 2, is set within a new canal and will provide facilities for boats to moor alongside to create the world’s first sail-and-ride station.
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The material excavated from the construction of the new tunnel will be used to create a new island north of Pampus and a series of sand dunes and ‘shallows’ on the coast of Pampus for recreation and wildlife. The new development has been planned around green and blue infrastructure.
The new island ‘Pampus IJland’ will include 3,000 homes and will be car free. Instead, a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system has been suggested to provide high speed travel between the island and the facilities of the urban centre in Pampus. The island will be a pilot for sustainability off grid and off mains water supply, renewable power and rain water harvesting and recycling will provide for the inhabitants’ needs.