Skip to main content

Tenders Invited for More Rail Routes

Today, the Government, (V, LA s K) has been given the backing of a broad majority in the Danish Parliament, (DF, S, RV, ALT and SF) to invite tenders for several more rail routes when a Re-invitation to Tender is issued for the present rail traffic in Central and West Jutland.


    In future, private operators will be able to bid for more railway routes in Denmark. This is the result of an Agreement concerning the tendering of Danish rail traffic which was entered into by a broad majority in the Danish Parliament.

    When a Re-invitation to Tender is issued for the operation of rail traffic in Central and West Jutland in 2020, there will now be an opportunity to take over routes on the Svendborg line and the  Vejle-Struer line which, at present, are operated by DSB. At the same time, the Parties have agreed to improve service by introducing departures every half-hour on certain routes.

    “Today, the Central and West Jutland routes now being sent out to tender are operated with a high degree of punctuality and there is general satisfaction with the service on offer. At the same time, the tender has saved the State and the Danish taxpayers a lot of money. This expansion of the tender wtll only increase the economic advantages“, says the Minister of Transport, Building and Housing, Ole Birk Olesen, and continues:

    “Providing Denmark with significantly more rail transport is part of the Government’s manifesto and, today, we are taking an important step along the way. At the same time, we will ensure the future of direct rail connection between Copenhagen and Struer, via Herning, which has long been a strong local desire,” says the Minister. 

    There will be hourly departures between Struer and Vejle, including 8 direct connections (4 train pairs) between Struer and Copenhagen via Herning. The Parties will also extend the present rapid connection with stops at the larger stations, Aarhus – Herning and from Herning via Gødstrup to Holsterbro. This means that there will be a direct train service from Aarhus to the planned hospital in Gødstrup, the service on the Herning – Holsterbro route will be extended to fixed half-hourly departures in the daytime and hourly departures between Herning and Vejle will be ensured.

    Today’s agreement also expands the service between Esbjerg and Ribe to fixed half-hour departures during the daytime

    “We bear in mind that the upcoming tender will support the operation of new stations that may open along the available routes," says Ole Birk Olesen, referring to the offer being designed such that the future operator is obliged to operate up to 5 New stations, (Jerne, Laurbjerg, Stilling, Tvis and Sparkær). 

    “So we have introduced half-hour departures in several areas where they will provide greater flexibility for daily commuters”, says the Minister.

    The Central and West Jutland tender should be seen as a part of the Government’s task of determining a long-term strategy for railway operations in Denmark. The strategy concerns a more market-oriented network, using lateral thinking between tender, implementation of the signal program, electrification and the future purchase of electrically-driven trains. It should also be seen as a part of the Government’s efforts to ensure a noticeable increase in the use of tendering in rail transport. 

    “It is important that we develop a modern, effective and market-oriented railway network. The extended tender for Central and West Jutland is a step along the way. But our work doesn’t stop here” says Ole Birk Olesen.

    Routes on offer and length of contract
    The Parties have agreed to put the following routes out to tender for an 8-year period starting December 2020, with a further 2-year option:


    • Aarhus – Langå – Struer
    • Struer - Thisted
    • Aarhus – Skanderborg – Herning
    • Herning – Skjern
    • Struer – Vemb – Skjern – Esbjerg
    • Esbjerg – Ribe – Tønder
    • Struer – Herning - Vejle
    • Odense - Svendborg

    At the same time, Central Region Denmark will have the opportunity to adopt carrier responsibility for the route section, Skjern-Vemb-Holstebro, if it wishes and can operate the rail traffic at no extra cost to the State. In that case, this section will not be included in the official Invitation to Tender but will be run as a part of the Lemvig route ((Vemb-Lemvig-Thyborøn). 

    The Tender will also include options for running the following routes in interoperation with the above: 

    • Nr. Nebel – Oksbøl – Varde (joint tender with Sydtrafik conditional upon entering into agreements with Sydtrafik og Vestbanen)
    • Tønder – Niebüll (joint tender with carrier in Slesvig-Holsten, NAH.SH) 

    Half-hourly departures to be introduced during daytime hours with effect from December 2020 for the routes:

    • Esbjerg – Ribe
    • Herning - Holstebro

    In the event that, after determining the terms of the tender documents, decisions are made concerning significant changes to the Danish railway network, (such the construction of new railtrack or the electrification of the railway network), the Danish Parliament will resume discussions concerning the Re-invitation to Tender.