RijnGouweLijn Oost Light Rail System

Leiden/ the Netherlands, 2004–2011

Leiden Light Rail Project is being carried out by a Joint Venture of LRTC and its Dutch partner Advin. The planned light rail section through the city of Leiden is a part of the constructed RijnGouwelijn rail link, the regional Light Rail-route which will connect the cities of Gouda, Alphen and Leiden with the coastal towns of Katwijk and Noordwijk, Netherlands. This project represents Holland's first implementation of the 'Karlsruhe model'. Tram tracks in the inner city of Leiden will be joined with railway tracks in the region.

The innovative model of urban-regional light rail network provides excellent opportunities of linking rural and urban areas and offers a high level of mobility within the whole region. At the same time it imposes specific requirements which are to be considered and managed during the planning and implementation stages. Special attention in the present project has been drawn to the transition point between light rail / heavy rail systems. Description of interfaces as well as detailed design for track, catenary and signalling systems have been performed.

One of the further project challenges has been the design for at-grade track alignment and infrastructure through the old city center of Leiden with its extremely narrow streets and numerous bridges. The city section includes 5 bridges along its 5 km length. The resulted gradeability and spatial requirements added to the complexity of the engineering tasks.

The complete scope of services performed by LRTC is structured in two project phases. The first phase – preliminary design – has dealt with the feasibility of the envisaged light trail connection including cost-benefit analysis as well as impact assessment on environment, urban and regional development resulting in elaboration of best alignment proposal and its preliminary design.

The second stage – now in progress – encompasses detailed design of the light rail section (7,5 km on the whole, 5km in the city). 

The engineering tasks include:

  • alignment & trackwork
  • overhead catenary & power supply systems
  • telecommunication and signalling
  • workshop & depot


Client: Provincie Zuid-Holland, Netherlands