SEPTEMBER 17 is the closing date for bids to operate regional passenger services in Jylland from the beginning of 2003. The Danish Transport Ministry has called international bids for two concessions totalling 582 route-km. Around 10 consortia have expressed interest, including German Railway's local passenger business DB Regio. Preferred bidders are due to be selected early next year.

The northern package covers the line from Århus to Struer and Thisted and the coastal route from Struer to Skjern, totalling 308 km. The other comprises the Tønder - Esbjerg - Skjern - Herning - Århus corridor. At present the routes are served by around 6·5 million train-km a year.

German Railway strengthened its presence in Denmark on June 27 with the formal launch of Railion Denmark A/S as successor to DSB Gods. Danish freight operations were transferred to Railion GmbH in January 2001 under a deal which saw DSB taking a 2% stake in the company, which is owned 6% by NS Groep NV of the Netherlands and 92% by DB. Railion Denmark takes over 700 staff, 38 locos and 2300 wagons.