BANEDANMARK has successfully commissioned ETCS Level 2 Baseline 3 on the Langå - Struer - Holsterbro line in western Denmark, the fourth line on the national network to switch to the new signalling system as part of the nationwide rollout, which the infrastructure manager is overseeing.

Thales delivered ETCS and its Aramis traffic management system under a contract it is delivering with Strukton (previously Balfour Beatty) for the west of the country, covering approximately 1200km of lines.

ETCS was activated on the line in five stages: Hvidbjerg - Struer, Hjerm - Vinderup, Vinderup - Højslev, Højslev - Viborg, and Viborg - Langå.

Langå - Struer - Holsterbro is the third line under the west contract to become operational following Lindholm - Frederikshavn in October 2018 and Thisted - Struer in April 2020. The Roskilde - Køge line delivered under the east contract with Alstom entered operation in November 2019. Activation of ETCS is expected on the Køge - Næstved section in August.

Banedanmark also expects to activate ETCS on the line from Mogenstrup in South Zealand to Rødby on Lolland in December. This work is being undertaken as part of the upgrades to the Ringsted - Fehmarn line.

In addition, Banedanmark says that by the end of 2021 more than 150 trains will be equipped with onboard ETCS equipment. Alstom is supplying its Atlas system for 789 rail vehicles under a contract awarded in March 2012.

Copenhagen S-Bane

Denmark’s national signalling renewal programme also includes installation of CBTC on the 170km Copenhagen S-Bane network delivered by Siemens under a contract awarded in 2011. Following three months of trial operation, a normal timetable resumed on the Farum Line at the end of April, taking the total CBTC rollout to 45% of the network.

Banedanmark says that on the sections of line where CBTC is active the number of signalling errors have halved compared with the legacy analogue system from the 1960s, increasing train punctuality.

The full rollout of CBTC across the S-Bane network is expected by the end of 2022. A feasibility study is also underway to explore an upgrade of CBTC to ATO at GoA 4.

The rollout of ETCS across the Danish mainline network was approved in 2009, and was originally scheduled to be completed in 2023. This target was pushed back to 2030 by the government in November 2017, when it became clear that plans for the project were overambitious. Reasons cited included an overestimation of timescales to develop, test and stabilise the system, and an overambitious budget projection. 

The project’s budget was originally set at DKr 24.9bn ($US 4bn) but was reduced to DKr 4.5bn in 2011-12 after Banedanmark received unexpectedly low contract offers. However, as the project as continued, subsequent budget revisions have returned to levels anticipated in the original business case.