Rail Net Denmark has awarded Atkins a contract to prepare the preliminary concept report for an upgrade of a major rail line between Aarhus and Hobro in Denmark.
The project named Speed Upgrade Aarhus - Hobro is planned to improve services on the existing rail line without requiring an additional high speed rail link.
The Speed Upgrade Aarhus - Hobro project forms part of Rail Net Denmark's 'one hour plan' which aims to ensure passengers shouldn't have a travel time of over one hour between Aarhus and Aalborg, that is currently around one hour and 21 minutes.
Preliminary studies will be performed by Atkins of how travel time between the two cities can be minimised.
Atkins project manager Hanne Funch said: "This is the first multidisciplinary project on Danish ground with Atkins as the sole consultant."
"It's vitally important that the benefits and costs of any potential service improvements are fully analysed, to ensure quality and value for money," Funch said.
"By examining all the possible impacts on travellers, on the environment, and on the general public we will recommend how best to satisfy the growing demand for improved rapid rail travel in Denmark."
According to the company, potential solutions may include closing crossings, straightening track curves or shortening track length. A detailed assessment of the traffic and environmental impacts of the proposed improvements will also be involved in the study.
The project is expected to be developed over the next six months and followed by consultations, while the final report is scheduled to be presented to the Danish Parliament in the summer of next year.
Atkins is also involved in several rail projects across the Scandinavian region, including design on Denmark's Northwest Railway, a signalling contract on Norway's Follo Line, and a recently-awarded contract for design work on the Oslo Metro.