Denmark starts laying track for its very first high-speed railway

Workers have begun laying tracks for Denmark’s first high-speed railway, intended to speed up travel on the bottleneck-prone commute between Copenhagen and Ringsted.

Passengers will be able to zip along the 60-km electrified route at up to 250km/h when the line opens, as planned, in December 2018.

Line shows how the new railway will follow and sometimes cross an existing motorway (Banedanmark)

Preparatory work has been underway since 2012 on the scheme, which is part of the Danish government’s One Hour Model, a plan to bring the country’s four biggest cities – Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg – to within one hour of each other by train.

Mainly following an existing motorway, the new line will pass through densely populated municipalities via Køge, where a new station will be built.

Hired by government agency Banedanmark, Netherlands-headquartered firm Strukton Rail fired up a 300-m-long track-laying machine, operated by an Italian team, on 1 November.
Running on rails, the machine will lay nearly 2km of track every day between now and May 2017, after which the electrification and signalling systems will be installed, trackside sound barriers will be built, and testing begun.

After this line is complete, the plan is to upgrade the existing line from Ringsted to Odense, starting in 2020, which would bring Odense to within an hour’s rail journey to Copenhagen, from the current journey time of one hour and 15 minutes.

Other upgrades to lines in subsequent years will be pursued to achieve the One Hour Model.

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