FURTHER rationalisation of the Danish rail sector took effect on July 1, when the former rail safety authority Jernbanetilsynet was abolished.

Under a law passed by Parliament on May 5, responsibility for safety management on the rail network and for routine inspections and approvals has been transferred to the National Rail Authority, Trafikstyrelsen. Rail accident investigation will be handled by the Havarikomission, which was established last year to investigate air accidents.

The current restructuring of the Danish railway sector began on July 1 2003, when Trafikstyrelsen was established as an agency of the Transport Ministry, ’to strengthen the political and strategic development of the railway sector’. Trafikstyrelsen is responsible for regulation, planning, safety and co-ordination on the rail network, and for advising the ministry on rail policy and strategic development. It also oversees the tendering of operating contracts.

On March 1 the former National Railways Agency Banestyrelsen became infrastructure authority Banedanmark, with a tighter focus on management and expansion of the 2323route-km national rail network.