Travelling by train in Denmark this Easter? You could be in for a delay

Passengers travelling with Denmark’s national rail operator DSB during the Easter holiday period could experience journey times up to an hour longer.

Travelling by train in Denmark this Easter? You could be in for a delay
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Journeys between Roskilde on Zealand and Nyborg on the island of Funen will be affected by maintenance works and trains will be replaced by buses on this stretch, DSB has confirmed.

That means travelling times in this part of the country could be up to an hour longer than usual.

Planned rail replacement works near the town of Ringsted are the cause of the line closure. Easter was chosen for the works due to the reduction in regular passenger numbers during this period.

The works are scheduled to take place between the evening of Wednesday April 17th and Easter Monday, April 22nd.

“Easter is characterized by [maintenance and works company] Banedanmark making use of fewer people taking the train during Easter by carrying out various track maintenance,” DSB said to Ritzau.

“Various rail replacement buses will operate during this period.”

Passengers whose journeys take in the Roskilde-Nyborg section will be directed to the rail replacement buses at relevant stations.

The works will actually improve journey times for those travelling in the southern Zealand area after Easter, with trains from Næstved to Copenhagen no longer required to take a detour, DSB said.

READ ALSO: Here's what to expect from Denmark's Easter holiday traffic

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Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany