Ambitious infrastructures accommodating the growth of rail transport to the port of Rotterdam

In 2018, works started on a new railway line in the port of Rotterdam called Theemswegtracé. It would become a 4 km long elevated railway viaduct to solve the increasing traffic bottleneck of the port. Three years later, the project was successfully delivered.

New railway line

The Theemswegtracé is a four-kilometre long elevated railway viaduct, including two metal arch bridges, that replaces the old railway line. That old railway line ran over the Caland Bridge, a vertical lift bridge that had to open multiple times a day for freight ships to sail through and thus interrupting train traffic. Thanks to the new line, trains are no longer hindered, which leads to a better accessibility of the port of Rotterdam to the European hinterland. On top of that, time is saved, CO2 emissions are reduced and capacity is increased.

The project was awarded by the Port of Rotterdam to the SaVe consortium, consisting of BESIX, Mobilis, Dura Vermeer, Hollandia and Iemants. Works began in 2018 and were finished in October 2021.

Our solution

The Theemswegtracé is located right in the middle of the port of Rotterdam, an environment that is in constant motion day and night. Especially in terms of planning the works, this posed a number of challenges. Not only did the surrounding companies have to be accessible at all times, the partners also had to take into account the different sorts of traffic coming together, such as train, car and maritime traffic. Coordination with all stakeholders, e.g. ProRail, Rijkswaterstraat, the Harbour Master and lock keepers, was thus key. Apart from the many stakeholders, the partners also had the challenge of building over and near a complex network of underground cables and pipelines. However, thanks to the good relationship between the partners, as well as with the client, works went very well and the project was successfully delivered on time.

Of course, COVID-19 also tried to throw a spanner in the works. Just before the first arched bridge was planned to be brought in its final position, which was one of the biggest technical highlights of the project, the crisis broke out. This resulted in great uncertainties and up until one week, it wasn’t sure if the operation could go through. However, thanks to the flexibility of all the teams, everything went well and works remained on schedule, again thanks to great teamwork of the partners.

Project details

Project name



Tunnels, Road works

Contract type

Design & Build


, The Netherlands


BESIX Nederland

External partner(s)

Dura Vermeer, Mobilis TBI en de staalbedrijven Hollandia en Iemants


Het Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.

Building Period

2018 - 2021

Maintenance period

Optioneel 8 jaar


Maarten Struis

Total value

€ 162 million

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