A study produced by Atkins has shown ways to reduce travel time on an important rail route to Germany that crosses the northern to the southern part of Western Denmark, without any additional major infrastructure works.

Currently, the journey between Aarhus in Denmark and Hamburg in Germany takes four hours and 30mins. Atkins’ experts have reduced the travel time by up to 97mins to two hours and 53mins.

Anders Kaas, Atkins’ planning and architecture manager and author of the report, said: “This means rail traffic between Jutland and Hamburg could double or increase by 500,000 journeys a year. Furthermore, it is estimated that there will be an additional passenger increase of up to 60% of regional passenger traffic on the line.”

Working for a group of 17 municipalities in southern Denmark, Central and North Jutland, Atkins was asked to analyse and provide several scenarios to improve passenger travel times between Aarhus and Hamburg, a distance of 337km. With all six scenarios put in place, a total of 97mins can be taken off the travel time. This potential reduction makes rail a better choice over the car which takes approximately 3hrs and 20mins.

Examples of time-saving scenarios include:

  • Approximately 27mins can be saved if the train travels at the same speed as the fastest train on the line already
  • Approximately 17mins can be saved by reducing the number of stops to five between Aarhus and Hamburg
  • Up to 15-27mins will be saved due to planned improvements for the period 2015-25 including double track in southern Jutland, electrification and new signals.