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VIDEO: New delay for Aarhus light rail but green light looks close

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VIDEO: New delay for Aarhus light rail but green light looks close
Photo: Morten Bjørn Jensen/Polfoto/Ritzau
17:57 CET+01:00
The Danish Transport Authority (Trafikstyrelsen) has decided not to approve the Aarhus Letbane light rail to begin operating at the beginning of next week.

The authority met with representatives from Aarhus Letbane on Friday to reach a decision on whether to green light the light rail to carry passengers from next week.

Following the meeting, the authority confirmed that commuters in Aarhus had a little longer yet to wait before being able to use the service.

Aarhus Letbane's head of communications Jens Velling told The Local in an interview on Friday that he saw the outstanding issues as being straightforward to resolve.

"It’s rather simple; it’s a matter of not being totally in agreement. We don’t totally agree with the railway authority in Denmark about the documentation of our work," Velling said.

Vice director with Trafikstyrelsen Kåre Clemmesen told news agency Ritzau on Friday that he expects operations to begin at the end of next week or beginning of the following week.

“I cannot give any guarantees. I have to wait until I have sufficient documentation. But we have overall progress. (Aarhus Letbane) has submitted much better material than we saw last time. But they must still submit some things next week,” Clemmesen said.

The meeting on Friday touched on whether any outgoing issues from documentation submitted last week remain unresolved, the director told Ritzau.

“There are still some things outstanding and that is what we are talking about,” he said.

Agreement will also be reached between the two parties over which issues must be rectified immediately and what can wait until later.

“We will hopefully reach an approval with some conditions which must be fulfilled within approximately six months. That includes, for example, the welding and cutting of tracks,” Clemmesen said.

Velling stressed that the outstanding issues were related to documentation rather than the safety of the rail's operations.

"They have not said that it’s unsafe to drive... They talk about the depth of documentation we have for future maintenance of the whole system," Velling told The Local.

Aarhus Letbane will now make its final preparations to begin transporting passengers while it waits for the final details to fall into place, reports Ritzau.

Initially scheduled to begin operations in September, the official opening of Aarhus Letbane was cancelled the day before an expensive opening event after the Danish Transport Authority declared safety procedures put in place by operator Keolis to be insufficient.

The rail company has since worked to secure the lacking safety approvals.

The light rail, with a budget of 3.5 billion kroner (470 million euros) financed by the state and regional municipalities, has been several years in the making, with construction visible in Aarhus' streets since 2013.

READ ALSO: Aarhus light rail train bumps into car during test run

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