High-speed rail in Denmark
The first high-speed railway in Denmark is currently under construction and expected to open in 2018. Further high-speed lines are currently under planning.
As a part of a long-term green plan for transportation in Denmark in December 2008, the government at the time presented a high-speed strategy for the inter-city train traffic, called Hour Model (Danish: Timemodellen). The strategy contains bringing down the travel time between the four largest cities of Denmark to one hour, thereby decreasing the total travel time between Copenhagen and Aalborg from approximately 4½ hours to 3 hours. The first part of the Hour Model, the new high-speed line between Copenhagen and Ringsted, is expected to open in 2018.
On 1 March 2013, the government published their proposal for fulfilling the Hour Model, as well as an electrification of the main lines. The proposal includes creation of a DKK 27.5 billion fund, Togfonden DK (Danish: Train Fund DK), based on taxes from oil activities in the North Sea. The funding was supported by Enhedslisten and Dansk Folkeparti in a political agreement on 17 September 2013, when the potential outcome where adjusted to DKK 28.5 billion.
On 14 January 2014, the parties behind the funding published an agreement for spending the fund, where from DKK 14.8 billion will be spent for realizing the Hour Model.
Railways in Denmark use a system for cab signalling which is unique, but is based on the system in Switzerland. The system allows 180 km/h maximum speed in Denmark (200 in Switzerland). 5 km of the Oresund Line closest to the border uses Swedish signalling, and 200 km/h is allowed here (only SJ X2 trains reach this speed here), as the only railway in Denmark.
In order to allow modernization of the Danish railway network, Banedanmark are rolling out European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) Level 2 on all national rail lines between 2018 and 2021, a project called the Signalling Programme. The project was tendered out in four contracts:
- National rail lines east of Little Belt Bridge, won by Alstom
- National rail lines west of Little Belt Bridge, won by Thales-BBR consortium
- S-train signalling system (CBTC), won by Siemens
- On-board equipment, won by Alstom
First stage: Copenhagen to Odense
- A new 250 km/h high-speed rail line between Copenhagen and Ringsted via Køge, due to open in 2018 (under construction)
- Upgrading the existing rail line between Ringsted and Odense via the Great Belt Fixed Link to 200 km/h, expected carried out in 2020
Second stage: Aarhus to Aalborg
Like the first stage of the Hour Model, the second one also consists of two works, both in planning:
- Upgrading the existing rail line between Aalborg and Hobro to 160 km/h, expected carried out in 2018. Environmental impact assessment for a further upgrade to 200 km/h will be performed.
- Upgrading or straightening of the existing rail line between Hobro and Aarhus or a new high-speed rail line between Randers and Aarhus (feasibility study in progress) The government plan of 1 March 2013 includes a speed upgrade.
DKK 4.9 billion are reserved for second stage and remaining initiatives on first stage.
Third stage: Odense to Aarhus
In March 2011, the Danish Ministry of Transport published a strategic analysis of new transport connections between Copenhagen and Aarhus, including two alternative strategies for fulfilling the Hour Model between Odense and Aarhus:
- The "Little Belt - Vejle Fjord" Alignment Alternative, including new high-speed rail lines between Odense and Middelfart and between Horsens and Aarhus, as well as bypasses around Fredericia (requiring new bridge across Little Belt), Vejle (requiring new bridge across Vejle Fjord) and Horsens.
- The "Odense - Horsens" Alignment Alternative, a new high-speed rail line between Odense and Aarhus via Horsens, crossing Little Belt between Bogense and Juelsminde, either as a rail-only bridge or as a combined rail and road bridge.
DKK 13.9 billion in Train Fund DK are reserved for a version of the "Little Belt - Vejle Fjord" Alignment Alternative without bypasses around Fredericia and Horsens and thereby without a new bridge across Little Belt. The new high-speed rail line between Odense and Middelfart will also enable journey times between Odense and Esbjerg of 1 hour.
Construction of the Hour Model will reduce the inter-city travel time as presented below:
|Copenhagen – Odense||1:15||1:00|
|Copenhagen – Esbjerg||3:08||2:00|
|Copenhagen – Horsens||2:27||1:50|
|Copenhagen – Aarhus||2:45||2:00|
|Copenhagen – Aalborg||4:21||3:00|
|Odense – Esbjerg||1:23||1:00|
|Odense – Horsens||1:10||0:50|
|Odense – Aarhus||1:24||1:00|
|Odense - Aalborg||3:04||2:00|
|Horsens – Aarhus||0:30||0:19|
|Aarhus – Aalborg||1:19||1:00|
Beside the Hour Model, additional high-speed rail lines in Denmark are discussed as a part of fixed link projects.
The strategic analysis of new transport connections between Copenhagen and Aarhus included a third alternative for decreasing the travel time between the two cities: a new fixed link across Kattegat. This requires a new high-speed rail line between Roskilde and Aarhus via Kalundborg and Samsø. This solution will lower the travel time between Copenhagen and Aarhus to one hour, but not affect the travel time between Odense and Aarhus.
Since 2008 a new fixed link across Kattegat has been discussed widely in Denmark, as a visionary expansion of the overall infrastructure in Denmark, and several analysis (both official and by lobbyists) have been published.
Fehmarn Hinterland project
The treaty between Denmark and Germany for construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link include hinterland projects in both countries. In Denmark, the existing rail line between Ringsted and Rødby will be expanded to double track and electrified, as well as upgraded to 200 km/h. The Storstrøm Bridge was originally supposed to remain as single track, however a political agreement confirms funding the design of a new combined rail and road bridge across Storstrømmen.
The fixed link, as well as the hinterland project, are expected to be completed in 2021.
Second Øresund Fixed Link
As connection to a second fixed link across Øresund between Elsinore and Helsingborg, wanted by the Swedish Government, new a high-speed rail line might be constructed. Most studies are describing a new transport corridor around Copenhagen (Ring 5), while some transport researchers are suggesting a new high-speed rail line between Elsinore and Copenhagen along the current motorway.
The development project Scandinavian 8 Million City has proposed a 360 km/h high speed rail line from Oslo via Gothenburg to Copenhagen, which is supported by the mayors of the three cities. The governments do not support the idea in the short or medium term, as they are assumed to pay for this more than € 10 bn project.
Most of the InterCity train traffic in Denmark are currently operated, using the diesel powered IC3 stock. Only the main line between Malmö (Sweden) and Flensburg (Germany) via Copenhagen, Odense, Kolding and Padborg, as well as the spur between Tinglev and Sønderborg and the main line between Copenhagen and Elsinore are electrified. To replace the IC3 stock, operator DSB ordered 83 IC4 high-speed diesel trains (200 km/h operating speed) at AnsaldoBreda. However, the delivery process, quality and safety of the IC4 stock has turned into a farce, and electrification of the main lines is appointed the solution to the future InterCity traffic.
On 7 February 2012 a large majority in the Danish parliament reached a political agreement on electrifying the main line between Lunderskov and Esbjerg and produce a feasibility study for electrifying several other main lines. In the Finance Act of Denmark 2013, electrification of the railway between Køge North and Næstved are financed.
On 1 March 2013, DKK 8.7 billion was reserved for electrifying the main lines Fredericia – Frederikshavn, Roskilde – Kalundborg and Vejle – Struer. The electrification will be completed no later than 2025.
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- Banedanmark. "Copenhagen-Ringsted". Banedanmark. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
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- Danish Ministry of Taxation (17 September 2013). "The Government, Enhedslisten and Dansk Folkepart agrees on harmonisation of the taxation in the North Sea" [Regeringen, Enhedslisten og Dansk Folkeparti indgår aftale om harmonisering af beskatningen i Nordsøen] (in Danish). Danish Ministry of Taxation. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
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- Nielsen, Otto Anker. "Perspectives for large traffic facilities in the transport corridors, presently as well as further into the future" [Perspektiver for store trafikanlæg i Transportkorridorerne, både aktuelt og længere ude i fremtiden] (in Danish). DTU Transport. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- The Scandinavian 8 Million City (13 March 2013). "Press announcement: Mayors demand common Scandinavian view" [Pressemelding: Borgmästare kräver Skandinavisk samsyn] (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Tarp, David (16 November 2011). "Majority will head start electrification" [Flertal vil tyvstarte elektrificering] (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
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- Danish Ministry of Transport (12 February 2013). "Finance Act 2013" [Finanslov 2013] (in Danish). Danish Ministry of Transport. Retrieved 1 March 2013.