On January 14, 2014, a key decision was made for public transport in Denmark. This is the date when the Danish Government backed by the Red-Green Alliance and the Danish People’s Party signed an agreement to create Togfonden DK (The Danish Train Fund) with 28.5 billion DKK, financed by oil revenue from the North Sea. The funds are earmarked for the realisation of the Hour Model.
Electrified rail visionThe Hour Model is a vision for the Danish rail system. Inherent in the vision is an objective of ensuring rail travel times of no more than one hour between major Danish cities. It will be completed by electrifying large parts of the railroad system, which enables travelling on environmentally friendly trains in one hour between Copenhagen-Odense, Odense-Aarhus, Odense-Esbjerg, and Aarhus-Aalborg.
Achieving a rail travel time of one hour between the largest Danish cities is easier said than done. To realise the Hour Model, the speed must be boosted to allow trains to travel significantly faster on many railroad sections. The Danish signalling system must be able to handle high speeds. To this end, an extensive signalling programme has been initiated under which all signalling systems along Denmark’s 3,000-kilometre railroad system will be upgraded by 2021.
New rail link across Vejle FjordOne of the key projects to help reduce the travel time between Odense and Aarhus is the planned rail link across Vejle Fjord. The current travel time between Odense and Aarhus is 1 hour and 28 minutes on the high-speed train. All in all, the rail link across Vejle Fjord will cut the travel time by approximately 12 minutes, thus making a substantial contribution to the realisation of the vision.
Ramboll provides technical counselling on the project.
- A rail link across Vejle Fjord will make it possible to travel more directly and with a less curvy route around Vejle Fjord. If the project is realised, the stretch can be travelled at speeds up to 250 km/h, says Project Manager Lars Hansen from Ramboll.
Different alternatives investigatedThe planning process currently involves an investigation of different alternatives for the exact location of the rail link. Proposals for construction principles need to be prepared as well.
- We need to project a high-speed railroad linked to Brejning south of Vejle and to Daugaard north of Vejle. We are looking into which alternatives provide the best match for the surroundings from a technical, landscape and environmental perspective, says Lars Hansen.
Better railroad coherenceIt is expected that the Hour Model will be fully implemented in the mid-2020s. The faster regional train connections will also make it possible to optimise the local train timetables, enabling shorter passenger waits for regional trains. This will make Denmark’s rail network more coherent.
- If the Hour Model is implemented in its present form, in the future it will take just 3 hours to ride the train between Copenhagen and Aalborg and an hour between the major cities in Denmark. This will persuade many car owners to leave the car at home and jump on the train instead, yielding environmental, economic and social advantages, Lars Hansen concludes.