DENMARK: National passenger operator DSB has selected a joint venture of international consultants to assist with the automation of the København S-bane network.

A multidisciplinary framework contract has been awarded to a joint venture of Cowi, Parsons and Systra, with Implement Consulting Group as sub-consultant. The consultancy services contract announced on January 25 runs for eight years with two optional six-year extensions.

The standalone 1·5 kV DC electrified suburban network is currently being equipped with CBTC under a contract awarded to Siemens by infrastructure manager Banedanmark. In December 2017 the government decided in principle to convert it to fully-automated operation under Grade of Automation 4. Two years later DSB began a market-sounding exercise to procure a new generation of driverless trains to be introduced from 2026.


Photos: Wikimedia/Kurt Rasmussen

The orbital Line F is expected to be the first S-bane route to be automated.

Under the new contract, the joint venture team will assist DSB in delivering the transformation, developing ‘a well-planned and executed’ migration strategy and a new operating organisation to run the automated network. Future Rail Network project envisages that the transformation will boost capacity and attract more passengers to use the railway, improving travel in the Greater København area, while ‘fostering a green urban environment’.

According to DSB Programme Manager Jesper Andersen, ‘establishing a fully automated S-bane system is an extensive and crucial project that will benefit passengers in the future. The Cowi-Parsons-Systra joint venture holds vast experience in large-scale railway projects — conventional as well as automated — and is a great match for us in the transformation.’

The joint venture team is expected to bring hands-on experience of fully automated transport systems, including the setting of technical requirements and migration of technical systems, as well as the planning and implementation of complex change processes.

Cowi Executive Vice President Henrik Winther, said the project would ‘contribute to setting the standard for many other cities across the world that face similar rail transformation projects and need to meet the demands for bigger capacity and future-proof, green solutions’.

Noting that the company had been supporting Banedamark’s signalling programme for the past 11 years, Parsons Vice-President Pierre Advani said the automation project would ‘improve community connectivity, while providing great economic and operational improvement values to the city and DSB’.

Systra’s Chief International & Development Officer Jean-Charles Vollery added that ‘the transition of such a large network into a driverless operation is indeed quite unique’.