First high-speed rail launched in Denmark
The Copenhagen – Ringsted line was opened for the regular train traffic. It is the first high-speed railway in Denmark. Initially, the trains will run on the route at a speed of 180 kilometres per hour which will increase up to 250 kilometres per hour in 2023.
The inauguration ceremony took place on 31 May at Køge Nord station with the participation of Crown Prince Frederik, Transport Minister of Denmark Magnus Heunicke, CEO of Banedanmark Per Jacobsen, CEO of DSB (Danish State Railways) Flemming Jensen and other guests. The double-track line was opened for regular traffic on 1 June. The 60-kilometre route will be equipped with ETCS Level 2 system by 2023. The maximum capacity of the line is 24 trains per hour.
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Overpass between Køge Nord and Køge stations, source: Banedanmark.
The Copenhagen – Ringsted project started in 2010. The construction works include the installation of 105,000 tonnes of rails, 180,000 tonnes of sleepers and 270,000 tonnes of crushed stones (for track ballast). Also, the new station, Køge Nord, was built in order to provide links with the Køge Bay line (Copenhagen – Ny Ellebjerg – Køge) and the Lille Syd line (Roskilde – Køge – Næstved). The stations of Køge Nord and Køge are divided by a highway. To provide the interconnection between them, the 225-metre overpass was constructed over the motorway.
The new line costs 10 billion Danish Krones (around 1.34 billion Euros). It will increase the railway capacity in Copenhagen and its environs. “With a new route, we get a much better timetable, more trains and fewer delays,” noted Per Jacobsen. The new line will shorten the travel from Copenhagen to the nearby communities: to Haslev – from 59 to 38 minutes, to Køge – from 38 to 24 minutes), to Hårlev – from 61 to 45 minutes. The Copenhagen – Ringsted railway will also serve the freight train traffic.