DENMARK: Odense Municipality has selected Parsons Brinckerhoff to assist with project management for the city’s light rail project, which was one of the schemes outlined in the government’s latest public transport strategy unveiled on June 12.

Under an agreement announced on July 2, the consultants will provide strategic and economic advice for the initial 14·7 km light rail route, which would have around 15 stops. This is intended to connect the main station with a new ‘super hospital’ and the university campus, running from Odense Banegård Center to Rosengårdcentret and Syddansk Universitet, before terminating at a park & ride facility by the main east-west motorway.

The project is still in the early planning stages, although a pre-feasibility study has been completed. Concept design is due to begin in August and will feed into an environmental impact assessment report that will be submitted to the Ministry of Transport towards the end of 2013. Following further design work, the city hopes to call tenders in 2015, with the line expected to open in 2020.

Parsons Brinckerhoff's General Manager for Scandinavia, Jes Hansen, said ‘the creation of light rail is part of an overall strategy for growth in Odense. We are eager to work on this project, offering our global experience combined with local expertise’. Parsons Brinckerhoff has worked on many light rail schemes around the world and is currently involved with projects in Manchester, Los Angeles, Perth and Phoenix. The company is also working on heavy rail projects in Denmark, including Banedanmark’s national ETCS signalling programme.