The Government of Denmark authorised Danish State Railways (DSB) to launch the procurement process for automated S-bane trains to operate the Copenhagen network. The winner of the train contract will be announced at the beginning of 2025.
The next generation of S-bane trains is expected to enter operation between 2029 and 2037 on the Copenhagen S-bahn network that will be automated.
According to DSB, the first driverless trains will enter testing phase from 2028 on the F ring line between Ny Ellebjerg and Hellerup that will be the first section to operate fully automatic.
Forecasts show that there will be more congestion in the Copenhagen area in the coming years and the introduction of more S-bane trains and better integration with the other transport modes will mooet traffic demand.
“The current S-train has reached its maximum capacity during rush hour, and our current generation of S-bane must be replaced within 15 years. We are happy that we have been given the green light politically for the tender. With the tender, the S-Bahn of the future has really been set in motion,” the Director of DSB Strategy & Train Material Jürgen Müller said.
Fully automatic S-bane rolling stock will require a major upgrade of the infrastructure on the network. DSB continues to work on planning a tender for the supporting systems for the use of automatic technology with a view to political approval in autumn 2023.
The acquisition of automated S-bane trains is part of the Infrastructure Plan 2035 which underlines the need for transition to automation technology to deliver improved and fast transport services. In 2021, DSB awarded a joint venture comprising Cowi, Parsons and Systra with Implement Consulting Group as subconsultant a framework contract to deliver multidisciplinary consultancy services for the automation of the S-bane system in Greater Copenhagen Area. The contract has a term of 8 years with the possibility of two six-year extensions.
The joint venture will help DSB to transform its S-bane system from a traditional urban railway network to a fully automated transport system.
In March 2022, Danish State Railways appointed Ricardo as the Assessment Body (AsBo) to convert the S-Bane to Grade of Automation 4.
It is expected that the 172 km S-Bane network to be under GoA4 operation by 2037.