Denmark’s regional trains to return to full passenger capacity

Denmark’s regional trains to return to full passenger capacity
Denmark's trains have been emptier than normal for some time due to coronavirus restrictions. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
Regional trains in Denmark will be allowed to operate at full capacity for passenger numbers from Friday, May 21st. Seat reservations will still be required to take trains.

As part of the latest update to Denmark’s planned easing of coronavirus restrictions, trains and buses will be permitted to allow more passengers on board. Both have been required to restrict capacity during the pandemic.

Although regional trains can return to full passenger numbers, the Intercity and ‘Lyn’ trains which connect major cities will remain limited, albeit at 70 percent of capacity rather than the current 50 percent.

The decision has been made in part due to the fact more people will begin to use the services as society in general returns to a more normal level of activity.

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“The reopening of society also means a greater need to travel with public transport to and from work or school. That’s why we are now conducting a targeted easing of capacity limits, with focus on rail traffic,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said in a statement.

“Reopening must take place safely. That’s why it’s still important that we keep a distance when possible and remember hand disinfectant and face masks,” Engelbrecht also said.

Rail operator DSB’s head of information Tony Bispeskov called for passengers to cancel seat reservations – which will remain a requirement on regional and long distance DSB trains – if they do not need them.

The company has noted that unused reservations have caused trains to run with fewer passengers than reserved seats, resulting in a lack of bookable seats.

“We have seen up to one in four seats empty even though seats were reserved. That means people at the station have been unable to purchase the reservation needed to take the train,” Bispeskov said.

“We should remember that that we still have a pandemic and we don’t have standing passengers. Even though regional trains will increase to 100 percent, you can’t just squeeze in,” he added.

The political agreement for Friday’s easing of restrictions states that “restrictions on public transport will be adapted on an ongoing basis to follow the overall reopening”.


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