Spring and autumn 2016 will be a busy time for the Øresund railway. Sund & Bælt took over the maintenance of the rail section on 1 September last year and this year, work begins on a major inspection programme and preventive repair work. Track closure has been planned for a total of 11 weeks, which will be spread over the spring and autumn (start date 1 April). The work will be suspended during the summer in order not to interfere with summer traffic.
”Track closures have been planned in collaboration with Banedanmark and DSB and at a time that will cause least disruption to rail traffic,” says Kristian Madsen, head of railway engineering systems at Sund & Bælt. ”The closures will, of course, take place at night when there is little traffic.”
Preventive maintenance work is also being carried out on the Øresund line.
”In the period up to Christmas, there were major track closures when we had to carry out immediate repairs to critical defects. This impacted traffic flow in that trains had to be cancelled or the maximum speed had to be reduced from 160 km per hour to 40 km. As owners of the line, our aim is to remain on the front foot so that we avoid closures and speed reductions. We do this by checking and replacing equipment in good time.
As well as the work on the track and catenary systems during the planned closure period, ditches and green areas along the line will be cleared in order to ensure that the drainage functions properly. The entire Øresund facility, the railway and the motorway, is sited below ground level, which means that water must be continually drained away.
Synergy across the railway system
In December, 2015, Sund & Bælt signed an agreement with Eltel regarding the maintenance of the Storebælt and Øresund rail systems.
”The agreement gives us the opportunity to generate synergies by making optimum use of personnel and equipment across the two rail systems. The knowledge that we have built up at Storebælt over the past 10 years is now being applied through our partnership with Eltel, which means that we can operate and maintain both facilities in the best way possible for the benefit of rail users,” says Kristian Madsen.
The Øresund railway comprises approximately 12 km railway for passenger trains and approximately 6.2 km railway, which is currently used for freight. Despite the relatively short section, the Øresund line, which extends to Copenhagen Airport, is one of the most important traffic links in Denmark with more than 30,000 travellers per day.