The first DKr 7.5bn ($US 1.1bn) stage of the project is due to be completed by 2021 and involves track-doubling between Vordingborg and Nykøbing, including the construction of a second single track bridge across the Masnedsund south of Vordingborg (pictured). The line will be resignalled as part of the Danish national ERTMS pogramme and track will be upgraded for 200km/h operation.

With the completion of the Copenhagen - Køge - Ringsted high-speed line, this will reduce the journey time for diesel-operated Nykøbing - Copenhagen services to one hour, compared with 1h 48min at present.

Electrification will be completed by 2024 as part of the national electrification plan and when sufficient new electric trains are available.

The final part of the project, which will cost a further DKr 2bn, involves track doubling and electrification on the section between Nykøbing and the northern portal of the Fehmarn tunnel near Rødby.

A key challenge for the project will be the replacement of the Storstrøms Bridge, which dates from 1936 and is currently subject to speed and weight restrictions. Banedanmark is keeping the bridge operational by spending around DKr 15m a year on makeshift repairs, but there is concern that the structure's deteriorating condition could lead to closure at short notice. A decision on whether to go ahead with its replacement is expected in the next few months and if approved, this could be completed in 2021 as part of the first phase of the project.