DANISH rail infrastructure authority Banestyrelsen launched a public consultation on January 12 into options for increasing capacity on the 64 km København - Ringsted main line running west from the capital. The Folketing passed a law last May authorising the start of planning for the project.

With the opening of the Storebaelt rail link last summer, and completion of the Öresund fixed link due in 2000, the east-west main line across Denmark is facing a rapid growth in freight and passenger traffic. Business at the DSB intermodal terminal in Høje Tåstrup is also increasing, and REx regional express services are being expanded.

Banestyrelsen is looking at three main alternatives: quadrupling the existing route, possibly with an avoiding line around Roskilde, construction of a new double-track line paralleling the existing motorway through Køge, and a compromise of quadrupling to Høje Tåstrup and building a new route from there to Køge Nord and Ringsted (map). All three options envisage extension of the 1·5 kV DC S-bane network to Roskilde.

The so-called ’ideas phase’ is due to end on March 9, allowing preliminary plans to be prepared for a formal public inquiry between June 22 and September 1. Environmental impact studies will be progressed in parallel, so that a recommendation can be put to the Folketing in November or December. Detailed planning would occupy the whole of 1999, with land acquisition starting in 2000 and construction running from 2001-04. o