Photo: Martin Haakan / CoverGanda.dk for BaneDanmark
Today, 31 May 2019, Rail Net Denmark inaugurates the first high-speed railway in Denmark: The new railway from Copenhagen to Ringsted. It is the largest railway project in more than 60 years and COWI has been involved as consultant since the early beginnings in 2010 – above and underground.
Together with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Denmark, Rail Net Denmark inaugurates the historic railway project. Travelling at a high speed of 250 km/h, trains will carry passengers on a 60-kilometre double-track railway section from Copenhagen to Ringsted.
COWI has been part of the project from the very start, and Lars Green Lauridsen, Senior Vice President of COWI's business unit of Planning and Economics, is excited about today’s festive opening:
“We’d like to congratulate Rail Net Denmark and the many passengers who can enjoy a quicker and greener train trip every day. There’s always something special about seeing the final result of an ambitious project that has been years in the making. This project is especially dear to COWI since we’ve put in several hundreds of thousands of consultancy hours regarding aboveground and underground services – and we’ve enjoyed an outstanding teamwork with Rail Net Denmark,” he says.
Lars Green Lauridsen explains the expropriation and legal aspects that COWI's consultants have dealt with and that are vital to realising the project:
“In cooperation with Rail Net Denmark, we’ve talked to more than 400 land owners – private citizens and companies alike – along the section. In terms of companies, it is important to understand their business case: How can we minimise their operating losses during construction, how will they be compensated etc. And in general, it is absolutely vital to realising projects of this calibre that we secure good relations to neighbours and the entire local community,” he says.
While managing relations to land owners above ground, COWI also contributed to the extensive relocation of buried utilities, which was necessary to implement the project.
“Between 600 and 700 utility lines, distributed over 60 large and small utility owners, i.e. utilities had to be relocated during the project. It’s been quite an interesting coordination challenge where we had to identify the lines, and talk to all utility owners about ownership, new locations and the financial aspects,” says Lars Green Lauridsen, and concludes:
“All in all, COWI has played an exciting role in providing consultancy on how to achieve the most optimum interaction between elements above and underground – and around the railway – for many years to come. For instance, planning and operation of areas that now feature underground tunnels. Or planning of areas for urban development along the section.”
Jens Sandager, Senior Vice President of COWI’ business unit of Bridge, Tunnel and Marine, shares the excitement about the inauguration:
"COWI has designed a lot of bridges and tunnels for the new railway, based on Rail Net Denmark’s outline design. And we’ve acted as technical consultant on the new Køge Nord Station, which is designed by the architectural team COBE and DISSING+WEITLING architecture. The station combines advanced engineering and unique architectonic design in an innovative solution that benefits both citizens and society: As a new traffic hub, the station will optimise mobility in the region and create a shared space that provides comfort and is aesthetically pleasing to the many thousands of citizens that will cross the station bridge on a daily basis,” he says.
Last but not least, COWI has been heavily involved as full-service consultant to the winning contractor teams responsible for the largest civil works contracts, i.e. Aarsleff, MT Højgaard and MJ. Eriksson. Tasks have included tender assistance, detailed design, project follow-up and supervision assistance.
“The common thread in the tasks has been to assist in identifying the optimum solutions for contractors, as regards time, economy and quality. We’ve worked with a lot of exciting partners over the years, and a lot of COWI employees are thrilled to have the railway inaugurated today,” concludes Jens Sandager.