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Excellent infrastructure in NRW – the hub of Europe

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With six airports, a close-knit road and rail network and the world's largest inland port, NRW boasts an excellent transport infrastructure in the heart of Europe – making the state a key hub. But only smart and stable digitally linked networks create the beat that companies need today. 

Outstanding road and rail network connects NRW with Europe

NRW is an important transportation hub in the middle of Europe. Very few regions can offer companies comparable conditions for transport and logistics.

Road transport NRW

Traffic and goods transport are virtually impossible without a well-developed road network. Therefore almost all locations in NRW have optimal links to the European freeway network. This is ensured by more than 2,200 kilometers of freeway and 17,600 kilometers of federal roads and highways.

Rail transport NRW

In addition, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia offers the densest rail network in Germany with around 6,000 kilometers of tracks. The metropolis of Cologne is also a hub in the international high-speed rail network: For example, the Thalys connections to Brussels and Paris and the ICE high-speed line via Frankfurt/Main to Basel start from here.

From NRW to the world

Connections both within Europe and to China are excellent. Rail traffic between China and Europe along the "New Silk Road" has become firmly established. The number of connections is growing steadily. On the European side, NRW has the most important stations, with the port of Duisburg as well as train starting and ending points in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dortmund.

Six airports
450 direct international flights
720 kilometers of waterways
120 inland ports

A tight network all around: Air traffic and ports in NRW

Six airports

are available to air travelers in NRW. The two major airports, Düsseldorf and Cologne Bonn, are particularly efficient, as are other airports with European connections in Dortmund, Münster/Osnabrück, Paderborn/Lippstadt and Weeze/Lower Rhine.

450 direct international flights

take off from the NRW hub to all the world's major cities. And if that's not enough, high-speed trains like the ICE take travelers from NRW to the European air hub Frankfurt/Main Airport in less than an hour.

720 kilometers of waterways

are also available in NRW. The connections extend to the North Sea, the Baltic, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Direct connections to the Belgian and Dutch seaports, as well as to the major German seaports of Bremerhaven and Hamburg, make NRW the central point of intersection of the most important European waterways.

120 inland ports

in NRW handle 106.5 million tons of goods by ship each year, making the state by far the largest inland port location in Germany. In fact, Duisburg is home to the world's largest inland port, handling a total of more than 110 million tons annually, including private plant ports and rail and truck transportation.

Future-oriented: NRW's excellent digital infrastructure

But NRW not only impresses with its close-knit transport networks; the "data highway" is not neglected here either. NRW is also far ahead in terms of digital infrastructure. A forward-looking digital strategy and stable digital networks are important drivers here – and also make NRW a key digital hub.

01 Comprehensive broadband infrastructure

Comprehensive broadband infrastructure

NRW ensures high broadband Internet availability of 94 percent – by comparison, France achieves only 83 percent and Belgium 88 percent. 

02 5G-ready


By the end of 2023, more than 92.1 percent of the state's territory was covered with 5G by at least one network operator. By the end of 2030, 5G is to be available everywhere in NRW. 

03 Excellent LTE coverage

Excellent LTE coverage

LTE coverage in NRW is already around 98.7 percent across all providers.

Quantum technology – opportunity for future-proof solutions

Another powerful building block of digital infrastructure is quantum technology, which helps to master the complex challenges of our time. The establishment of a quantum technology competence center and a high level of quantum expertise in science and industry are set to make NRW a leader in quantum technology by the end of 2023.

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Protecting the climate

Quantum technology helps to better understand the interrelationships of climate change. This is important – because NRW is working toward a CO2-neutral future. Read more

Optimizing traffic flows

Optimizing traffic flows

Quantum technology is helping to optimize traffic flows with smart mobility solutions. Read more



Quantum technology is helping to reduce risks from cyber attacks. NRW is at the forefront – and is committed to a secure digital world. Read more

Photo credits

© Flughafen Düsseldorf, Andreas Wiese
© Shutterstock, Simon Kletinitch
© NRW.Global Business, Jan Tepass
© Shutterstock, Katjen
© imaginima, iStock
© Jian Fan, iStock
© MF3d, iStock
© mauritius images, iStock
© NRW.Global Business