THE GOVERNMENT OF DENMARK WISHES TO GIVE A MODERNISING BOOST TO RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURES THROUGH ELEVATED EXPENDITURE ON LARGE-SCALE PROJECTS. FOR EXAMPLE, ONCE THE ELECTRIFICATION PROGRAMME IS COMPLETED, THE COUNTRY WILL BECOME THE FIRST MEMBER STATE OF THE EU TO ADOPT ERTMS ON A NATIONAL SCALE.
Denmark, in northern Europe and located between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, with a surface area of 42,920 km2. It is amongst the smallest and least inhabited countries, with a population of 5,781,000 people (density of 135 inhabitants per km2). The use of public transport in the main cities has opted in recent years for the railway, which is especially relevant in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense.
Regarding national connections, the ambitious electrification programme carried out throughout the country is especially noteworthy.
Denmark’s public rail network consists of 3,102 kilometres of rail track. Its lines are managed separately by private railways. The entire network is 1,435 mm (standard width), with the exception of some narrow sections.
The Ministry of Transportation, Construction and Housing is entrusted with planning new investments and modernisation programmes. It depends on the government agency Banedanmark, the National Railways Agency, which manages the maintenance, construction of new sections and the supervision of security systems.
More than 196 million passengers and eight million tons of freight are transported annually. Furthermore, there is a state-owned company, Femern Landanlaeg, for the modernisation of Danish railways associated with the Fehmarn Belt fixed link in northern Germany. For its part, DSB (Danske Statsbaner), a public railway operator, is responsible for rolling stock, as well as investment in the acquisition of new trains.
The sector has operated in a fully de-regulated manner since January 1, 2009 for the transport of freight and on the same date in 2000 for passenger rail services.
Some of the operators that exist are public-private companies, such as Midtjyske Jernbaner, which is run by the central Jutland railways or DB Schenker, an international logistics operator. The rest of the companies that offer rail services are: Arriva Tog, BLDX A / S, CFL Cargo Danmark ApS, Contec Rail Aps, Lollandsbanen, Lyngby-Naerum Jernbane, Midtjyske Jernbaner, Nordjyske Jernbaner A / S, Railcare Danmark A / S, BD Schenker Rail Scandinavia A / S, Regiostong A / S, Scandic Rail Partners ApS, Varde -Norre Nebel Jernbane (Vestbanen).
The government of Denmark wishes to give a modernising boost to railway infrastructures through elevated expenditure on large-scale projects. To this end, a specific fund has been created with which the main projects (Real Fund) will be covered. Furthermore, there is support from the co-financing of European institutions to give priority to the railroad over other modes in the country.
“In Denmark, more than €13.7 Bn will be invested in the six main railway projects underway”.
Denmark has the largest European signaling project underway. The aim is the replacement of systems throughout the Banedanmark railway network with ERTMS Level 2 by 2021 and all signaling in the Copenhagen S-bane with CBTC. Once completed, the country will become the first Member State to adopt ERTMS on a nationwide scale. The programme has been allocated a budget of 3.2 billion euros. With these new changes, delays will be reduced by 80%, the speed and frequency of trains will increase. Alongside this, there will be a higher level of safety spread homogenously throughout the national network. Likewise, other advantages are that future maintenance will be more economical and the system will provide a basis for better centralised traffic control, energy optimisation and passenger information in time.
Aarhus light metropolitan rail network
The light rail system in the city Aarhus (Aarhus Letbane) is run by the Midttrafik company. The first line opened in December 2017, though the network is still expanding. The service in the long distance section Odder a Lisbjergskolen opened on August 25, 2018. A third intercity line to Grenå opened on April 30, 2019. Plans are underway for more lines for the second stage of the project.
Phase I contemplates an extension from the eastern port while phase 2 includes the construction of a branch from the central station to the Braband neighbourhood through the city centre. Furthermore, in a third period, the extension of Line 2 to the north will be carried out from Lisbjergskolen to Hinnerup.
High-speed Copenhagen-Ringsted line
This year, the first high-speed line that connects the cities of Copenhagen and Ringsted through a station in Køge North has been inaugurated. The line is equipped for operations with trains that travel up to 250 km / h. While it is an initial first phase, DSB will start with existing conventional rail traffic on the route at higher speeds, thus introducing faster rolling stock in the future.
Work on this line, called Ringstedbanen (Ringsted), began in 2012 as part of the plan to improve rail connectivity between both urban centres. The general project is estimated to have cost €1.621Bn.
Signal renewal programme
Denmark has the largest European signaling project underway. The aim is the replacement of systems throughout the Banedanmark railway network with ERTMS Level 2 by 2021 and all signaling in the Copenhagen S-bane with CBTC. Once completed, the country will become the first Member State to adopt ERTMS on a nationwide scale.
The programme has been allocated a budget of 3.2 billion euros. With these new changes, delays will be reduced by 80%, the speed and frequency of trains will increase. In addition, there will be a greater level of safety spread homengenously throughout the national network. Likewise, other advantages are that future maintenance will be more economical and the system will provide a basis for better centralised traffic control, energy optimisation and passenger information inreal time.
Ringsted-Fehmarn, the railway connection with Europe
This project includes the construction of an additional track between Vordingborg and the southern part of Holeby, where the line connects to the Fehmarn Belt fixed link. The work consists of updating the infrastructure so that passenger trains can travel at 200 km / h, compared to the current 160 km / h (Ringsted-Vordingborg) and 120 km / h (Vordingborg-Rødby Havn).
The branch will be electrified from Ringsted to Holeby, in line with the rest of the Danish rail network, and will have the new ERTMS system, designed to ensure better punctuality and reliability.
The European Investment Bank has approved a package of 200 million euros for this initiative. This project also includes the construction of an underwater tunnel of 17.6 kilometres, which will serve as a fixed link for rail and road traffic through the Femern Strait.
According to the activity calendar, it is scheduled to be completed in 2028. The total approximate amount of construction of this link amounts to 7 billion euros. The works of the project, which are located in the Corridor of the TEN-T Core Network of the Scandinavian Mediterranean, are expected to facilitate train scheduling in the section once the tunnel becomes operational.
The four major packages for engineering and civil works are already awarded, and the next ones planned tenders are those related to electrical and mechanical installations, including systems and tolls, the railway installation, as well as aspects of architecture and interior design.
The city of Odense also backs sustainable mobility with a new tramway system. The first phase is scheduled to open in 2020. The tram will depart from Tarup, in the northwestern part, and will pass through the central train station, the University of Southern Denmark and the new hospital until it reaches its final destination in Hjallese, in the southernmost part of the city. L1 will consist of 14.5 kilometres and will have 26 stations.
The expected number of daily passengers is forecast as 34,000. The total budget is 3.3 billion Danish crowns (442 million euros). The tram is funded by the municipality of Odense, the Danish state and the region of southern Denmark. There is a second planned line of 7.5 kilometres, with a budget of 1.9 billion Danish crowns (254 million euros).
Copenhagen metropolitan railway
The Copenhagen metropolitan railway is also benefitting from an expansion programme. Presently, works are underwy on the extension of Cityringen, which once completed, will mean the entire system features a total length of 43 kilometres and more than 40 stations.
Cityringen Metro is a 15.5 kilometre underground circular line that is built on two branches, subway M3 and M4, connected to Kongens Nytorv and Frederiksberg stations. With an estimated cost of 21.300 billion Danish crowns (DKK) (2.836 billion euros), the project includes the construction of 17 stations.
The new line will be fully automated, driverless, and is expected to carry 240,000 passengers per day. This metro network will provide services to the main areas of Copenhagen, such as the Danish Parliament, the Central Station and the City Hall. It will also provide passengers with access to the regional train network, commuter trains at Copenhagen Central, Østerport and Nørrebro stations.