Danish government agrees North Sea oil rail funding

Political parties in Denmark have agreed to implement a new funding model which will generate €3.82 billion over the next 10 years to fund a programme of massive upgrades to the country’s rail infrastructure.

The scheme, known as Togfonden DK, will invest additional income gained by harmonizing the level of tax paid by companies extracting oil from the North Sea into a programme of electrification works and other infrastructure improvements.

Key benefits driving the programme are the environmental gain of replacing much of Denmark’s diesel rolling stock – an estimated saving of 220,000 tonnes of CO2 a year – and a significant reduction in journey times.

The aim is to cut travel times between Denmark’s five largest cities to an hour, which in turn would result in quicker journey times around the country.

Danish Transport Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr said the agreement meant Denmark could ‘finally get a modern, fast and green’ rail network.

Over the course of the next 10 years, the Danish government will spend €3.1 billion on enhancements, with the remaining €700 million to be allocated in 2024.

Around €1.8 billion will be invested in cutting journey times between Copenhagen and Odense, Odense and Aarhus, Odense and Esbjerg and Aarhus and Aalbor to an hour.

A further €1.17 billion will go towards the electrification of the network. The programme aims to complete electrification works between Fredericia and Aalborg by 2023, Aalborg and Frederikshavn by 2025, Vejle and Struer by 2026, and Roskilde and Kalundborg by 2024.

Jesper Hansen, chief executive of Denmark’s rail infrastructure manager Banedanmark, said implementing Togfonden DK was a ‘major step’ towards the aim of doubling rail traffic in Denmark by 2030.

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