EUROPE: Transport authorities in Denmark and Sweden have reached agreement to split up the current cross-Øresund rail services from December 2021, Denmark’s Minister of Transport, Building & Housing Ole Birk Olesen announced on December 13.
As part of a political agreement paving the way for more tendering of domestic rail services, the VLAK coalition government has decided to separate the provision of rail services on the fixed link from regional services in Denmark.
At present, the Øresundstaget contract is tendered jointly by Denmark and Sweden, with two organising authorities and two operators running the service. Because trains using the link serve a variety of routes in southern Sweden, this has resulted in poor punctuality on the Danish side, particularly on the busy Kystbanen route between København and Helsingør.
The Danish government has now decided that this ‘complex organisation’ should be divided, with the Kystbanen services to be tendered as a separate domestic business. Cross-Øresund trains between København and Malmö would be managed solely by Skånetrafiken. The Swedish agency expects to tender a range of services during 2018, which will include the future operation of the Øresund service. Trains from Malmö would continue to run through central København, but would then terminate at Østerport rather than Helsingør.
Accepting that the cross-border service provided ‘great mobility’, Olesen said it was of particular relevance to the Swedish side as around two-thirds of the passengers were Swedish. This made it ‘obvious’ that Skånetrafikken should be responsible for managing the business’ he explained.