Denmark opens first high-speed rail line, but commuters must wait for faster journeys

Denmark opens first high-speed rail line, but commuters must wait for faster journeys
Photo: Martin Sylvest / Ritzau Scanpix
A rail connection which will allow transport at up to 250 kilometres per hour between Copenhagen and Ringsted was opened on Friday.

Crown Prince Frederik was guest of honour as the new high-speed rail track was opened by national rail infrastructure company Banedanmark.

The new line, named Ringstedbanen (the Ringsted Line) connects Ny Ellebjerg in Copenhagen to Ringsted via a new station at Køge North, bypassing the normal route through Høje-Taastrup.

The track has been built to enable high-speed trains which can travel at up to 250 kilometres per hour, although such trains will not be used on the line initially, with operator DSB instead using existing trains at increased speeds.

High-speed rail (HSR) will be possible on the new line in future, however.

Those hoping for expedited commuting times should probably hold off before getting on board with any excitement, as peak travel times between Ringsted and Copenhagen will initially remain unchanged.

But a new timetable to be introduced in December this year will see trains travelling at higher speeds on the line, cutting the journey by five minutes. Journey times between Copenhagen and Næstved will be shortened by up to nine minutes.

The main benefit of the new line will be a reduction in delays, Banedanmark director Per Jacobsen said.

“This will make the railway to and from Copenhagen more efficient and robust. The new track will help us improve the timetable, increase departures and reduce delays,” Jacobsen said in a press statement.

The speed limit on railways in Denmark is normally 180 kilometres per hour.

The new railway was approved by parliament in 2009 and construction of the track and new station began in 2010. Total costs for the project are over nine billion kroner.

READ ALSO: 'Help make us greener': Danish rail operator to passengers

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