THE Danish transport safety authority Trafikstyrelsen has issued a new directive making it possible for a Copenhagen S-Bane drivers to be trained in less than three months, rather than through the standard 11-month Danish State Railways (DSB) train driver programme.

Trafikstyrelsen is the examiner and training authority for the country’s rail industry and says that introduction of CBTC across the whole 173km Copenhagen S-Bane network in September 2022 has simplified driving. It says that the shorter training time will make recruitment of new staff to fill driver vacancies easier, easing pressure on DSB, which has had difficulty in recruiting new S-Bane drivers in recent years.

Up until February 2023 it was a requirement that all driver job applicants had a technical vocational qualification, or had passed exams in physics at B level, to qualify to undertake the same training programme for driving local or long-distance trains. Now the minimum requirement for prospective recruits will be passing their school ninth grade leaving exam.

Trafikstyrelsen office manager, Ms Laura Meyer Harrison, says the introduction of CBTC has increased automation in train driving. “Therefore, in dialogue with DSB, we have created a framework for simpler training that is directly targeted at S-train drivers,” she says. “It… focuses exclusively… what they must be able to do… in relation to the new signalling system.”

“We are already well underway with training the first seven S-Bane drivers, even though it has only been 10 months since we started developing the new training,” says DSB director of operations, Mr Per Schrøder. “We have put together a strong team to make it succeed in a relatively short time. It shows that we don’t always need heavy processes to achieve our goals.”