DENMARK: State passenger operator DSB has been authorised to start the procurement of a new electric train fleet, the Ministry of Transport announced on June 12.

The government has reached agreement with a majority of parliamentary parties to press ahead with the fleet renewal strategy unveiled in February. This would see the procurement of up to 150 electric trains for 200 or 250 km/h operation at an estimated cost of around DKr11bn.

As an interim step, DSB is to purchase between 40 and 56 loco-hauled coaches for delivery in 2019-20. These are expected to be carrying passengers by 2022, being deployed in push-pull operation with 16 Siemens Vectron electric locomotives to be ordered as an option on the contract for 26 awarded earlier this year.

The parliament has agreed that DSB should tender a firm order for 100 electric multiple-units to replace the aging ABB-built IC3 DMUs and the troubled AnsaldoBreda IC4s, rather than the 90 proposed in February. These would be expected to enter service from 2024, with the remaining 50 to follow by around 2030.

DSB has also been asked to co-ordinate with DB to ensure that the new units will be able to operate into Germany once the Fehmarn Belt fixed link opens in 2028.

Welcoming the agreement, Transport Minister Ole Birk Olesen said ‘for many years, Danish passengers have had to live with the consequences of the poor political decisions about the acquisition of IC4, the lack of electrification or the replacement of Banedanmark’s signalling systems’.