Denmark - General Information
National Railway System
National Railway Operator
Danske Statsbaner (DSB).
numeric 86; alpha DK
www.rejseplanen.dk. Note that this journey planner selects bus services if they provide the best journey. Click on "Advanced options" to bring up a screen enabling selection or deselection of various modes of transport.
Alle køreplaner (pdf) (in Danish only) will no longer provides an image of the printed timetables. Instead there is the facility to generate a personalised schedule for any journey and download that.
Working (Staff) Timetable
The Tjenestekøreplaner (in Danish only) are divided into 3 sections - Øst, Vest and S-Tog.
The DSB Køreplan ceased publication in the autumn of 2015. Arriva Tog A/S still provides timetable leaflets for its services.
A timetable - Veterantog i Danmark - is issued for most of the seasonal tourist railways by Danske Veterantogsoperatøres Fællesrepræsentation (DVF) and Lokomotivklubben KLK in printed form from Danske Jernbane-Klub, Kalvebod Brygge 40, DK-1560 København V, or at Danske Veterantogs Fællesrepræsentation (only in Danish).
Trafikinformation in Danish only, then select:
- Dagens ændringer (Today's changes)
- Oversigtskort over sporarbejder (Overview map of track work)
The Journey Planner (above) selects bus services if they provide the best journey.
- European Railway Atlas: Nordic Region by M.G. Ball (4 April 2016) ISBN: 978-0-9932457-7-0
- European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (1 May 2016) ISBN 978-0-9932457-8-7
- Denmark's BaneDanmark [the equivalent of National Rail in Great Britain] links to the Basic Map appears to have broken, as has - in Danish text only - detailed line information at Trafikal information om banestrækningen leaving just the following interactive drill down map for the state-owned railway lines [equivalent to the Great Britain Sectional Appendix table A]. The latter document consists of simplified track diagrams (excluding shunting tracks and other local tracks), annotated with the positions of every station, main signal, and level crossing along the line, running distances, and permanent speed limits.
- Thorsten Büker's Map of Scandinavian Peninsulas Network and Map of the Øresund area - useful single sheet overviews - dated October 2011
- Maps and Plans - Denmark
A single fare structure covers both DSB and private lines. National fares apply only when a journey covers at least two regions. Local fares apply wholly within a region; these are all zonal and also cover buses. Some regions also offer day tickets. Most private operators do not accept InterRail and similar tickets. Penalty fares are charged if passengers are without a valid ticket on local lines in the København area.
Seat reservations are compulsory on trains using ferries to Puttgarden, and desirable on other long-distance services. Reservations from intermediate stations are issued until shortly before the train calls, so apparently unreserved seats may be claimed during the course of the journey.
Infrastructure is owned by BaneDanmark, a public authority separate from DSB.
Railway infrastructure owned by the Danish state is described in Banedanmark's Network Statements. This contains recent Network Statements and the associated appendices, which are in Danish only. Infrastructure data for regional railways are contained in the appendices.
- Main lines: 25kV 50Hz
At present this covers:
København - Helsingør; København - Lernacken (Swedish side of the Øresund bridge); København - Fredericia/Esbjerg; Lunderskov - Padborg (German border)/Sønderborg; København - Ringsted via the high speed line; Ringsted - Næstved - Vordingborg; Køge Nord - Næstved.
Work is starting on Roskilde - Holbæk - Kalundborg and Aarhus - Lindholm.
- København S-tog (suburban) network: 1650V DC (negative overhead wire).
Rule of the road
Some distances are given in appendix 6.6 of the 2018 Network Statement. Some of the regional railways' Network Statements give distance information.
Lokaltog A/S and Regionstog A/S merged to form Lokaltog A/S on 1 July 2015
- Gribskovbanen (Hillerød to Tisvildeleje and Gilleleje)
- Frederiksværkbanen (Hillerød - Frederiksværk - Hundested Havn)
- Hornbækbanen (Helsingør - Hornbæk - Gilleleje)
- Lille Nord (Helsingør - Hillerød)
- Naerumbanen (Jægersborg - Nærum)
- Odsherredsbanen (Holbæk - Nykøbing Sj.)
- Tølløsebanen ((Holbæk)-Tølløse - Slagelse; includes freight line to Gørlev)
- Østbanen (Køge - Fakse Ladeplads and Rødvig). Owing to the track being in poor condition, these lines may be converted to a busway.
- Lollandsbanen (Nykøbing F - Nakskov)
Midtjyske Jernbaner A/S
- Vemb - Lemvig - Thyborøn Jernbane
- Odderbanen (Århus - Odder) Combined with Grenaabanen to form Aarhus Letbane (Aarhus light rail).
Nordjyske Jernbaner A/S
- Hjørring Privatbaner (Hjørring - Hirtshals)
- Skagensbanen (Frederikshavn - Skagen)
Nordjyske Jernbaner A/S operates some freight trains over BaneDanmark lines north of Ålborg.
Arriva Tog A/S
- Vestbanen (Varde - Nørre Nebel; includes the freight-only line to Oksbøl Syd)
Arriva Tog A/S operates passenger services under franchise over BaneDanmark lines, including services between Tønder and Niebüll (Germany).
- Blovstrødbanen (Blovstrød - Storkevad) (700mm gauge)
- Danmarks Jernbanemuseum (Odense museum - Aløkke Allé)
- Vestsjællands Veterantog (Høng - Gørlev, plus operation over regular passenger lines)
- Hedelands Veteranbane (700mm gauge line, ca. 4.5km long at Hedehusene)
- Limfjordsbanen (Aalborgs Veterantog): (Aalborg - Aalborg Øst (Grønlandshavnen))
- Lokomotivklubben KLK (Haderslev - Vojens, plus operation over regular passenger lines)
- Mariager-Handest Veteranjernbane
- Museumsbanen Maribo - Bandholm
- Syd Fyenske Veteranjernbane (Faaborg - Korinth)
- Veteranbanen Bryrup - Vrads
The Blovstrødbanen, Limfjordsbanen, Mariager-Handest Veteranjernbane and Maribo-Bandholm lines are operated by special interest groups of Dansk Jernbaneklub See website links at bottom of page.
Lemvig – Lemvig Havn. A tourist service with preserved railbuses operates in summer on the steeply-graded branch between the main station and a quayside platform (constructed 2012) in the harbour. The service was operated by the SkinneBusGruppen Vestjylland (SBGV) in 2012. The SBGV was apparently dissolved on 5 April 2014. No services operated in 2016. However, on 4 October 2016 Lemvig town council granted the line 75,000 kr. It resumed running in July 2017, operated by the BjergBanen association. However, the line was in need of renovation and it is not known if any services will operate in 2019: see BjergBanen website.
Dates of operation of some special trains may be given on the Danmarks Jernbanemuseum website.
There is a listing of Nordic narrow gauge tourist lines at the Scandinavian Railways Society website.
Rail cycling is possible on a number of lines; see the IG Draisinenfahrten website. Click on 'International', followed by 'Draisinenlinks' to obtain website details under the heading 'Draisinenstrecken in Dänemark (DK)'.
København (opened between 2002 and 2007). The new M4 line was opened on 28 March 2020, running from Copenhagen Main Station, via the M3 Cityring Line to Østerport, where a new 2.2km branch to two new stations at Nordhavn and Orientkaj diverges. The new line consists of a 1.9km underground section with an elevated terminal station at Orientkaj. The project cost an estimated €310m and is expected to carry 11,000 passengers per day.
The Odense Letbane is under construction and due to open in 2020. It is actually a tramway rather than a light rail system.
Sporvejsmuseet Skjoldenæsholm (tramway museum line, ca. 2km) at Jystrup Midtsjælland.
Recent and future changes
The Rødby Færge – Puttgarden train ferry lost its train service from 15 December 2019 when København – Hamburg services were diverted via the Padborg border crossing.
The København – Køge Nord – Ringsted high speed line opened on 1 June 2019. Initially it was used only by an hourly Re service between København H and Ringsted but saw greatly increased traffic from the December 2019 timetable change.
The lines from Aarhus to Odder and Grenaa have been electrified and converted to the light rail Letbane. The first section from Aarhus H to Aarhus University Hospital opened on 21 December 2017. Both Aarhus - Odder (originally planned for 23 September 2017) and Aarhus University Hospital - Lisbjergskolen (originally planned for December 2017) opened on 25 August 2018. The final section, between Skolebakken and Grenaa and between Lisbjerg and Lystrup, opened on 30 April 2019.
Electrification of Lunderskov - Esbjerg was commissioned on 6 August 2017.
The introduction of border control checks by Sweden and the resulting congestion at København airport (Kastrup) caused by the enforced change of train there, resulted in SJ X2000 services and DSB trains from/to Ystad [for the Bornholm ferry] ceasing to call and being diverted via the airport avoiding line from 4 January 2016. By January 2017 only Ystad to København services were using the avoiding line and these were booked to call at the airport from 30 January 2017 before being completely withdrawn after loss of subsidy later in the year.
Skellebjerg – Slagelse closed to passengers on 18 January 2016 owing to condition of track, but funding was found to repair and it reopened on 1 November 2016.
DSB services were withdrawn from Aarhus to Odder and Grenaa on 26 August 2016 for electrification and conversion to light rail (the Letbane).
Doubling of Vamdrup – Vojens (the last single track section between Fredericia and Tinglev) was completed on 7 September 2015 and of Lejre – Vipperød (the last single track section between København and Holbæk) on 18 August 2014.
A relief line for the western approach to København H opened on 9 December 2012; see DK4. This was the first phase of the planned København – Køge – Ringsted line.
The line from Nykøbing Falster to Gedser closed to passengers on 13 December 2009.
In connection with construction of the København Metro, the S-train line Grøndal – Vanløse – Solbjerg – Frederiksberg was closed in stages between 1998 and 2001, instead the S-train ring line services were extended from Grøndal to Ny Ellebjerg in the alignment of a freight line made obsolete by the Øresund fixed link. The extended ring line was complete on 16 November 2006.
The first section of the København Metro, from Nørreport to Lergravsparken and Vestamager, was opened on 19 October 2002. Nørreport to Frederiksberg opened on 29 May 2003, Frederiksberg to Vanløse on 12 October 2003 and Lergravsparken to the airport (mostly on the formation of the former Amagerbanen line) on 28 September 2007.
The line between Esbjerg and Esbjerg Havn, used by boat trains connecting with ships to and from Harwich Parkeston Quay and Newcastle Tyne Commission Quay, closed at the end of the summer timetable in 2001.
The first section of the Øresund fixed link between København and Malmö, to København Lufthavn Kastrup, opened on 28 September 1998 and the remainder on 2 July 2000, whereupon the Helsingør – Helsingborg train ferry was withdrawn.
The bridge and tunnel across the Storebælt, connecting the islands of Fyn and Sjælland, opened to rail traffic in 1997, bringing about closure of the train ferry between Nyborg and Korsør.
See also overview of Danish rail infrastructure history (in Danish).
A new branch from Lindholm to Aalborg Lufthavn will open on 14 December 2020.
As part of modernising the line from Næstved to Ringsted, a 4km realignment is under construction just north of Glumsø.
A study, to be completed by June 2020, is being undertaken into the future of the Køge - Rødvig and Faxe Ladeplads line, owing to the poor condition of the track. The outcome will be either modernisation or its conversion to a busway.
An extension of the København Metro, the City Circle Line, is under construction although it was scheduled to open in 2018.
Ringsted – Nykøbing Falster - Rødby is being doubled, electrified and upgraded for 200 km/h running in conjunction with the Fehmarn belt project. Ringsted – Næstved will be closed, with bus replacement from 28 March to 29 November 2020. The existing bascule bridge over the Masnedsund (Vordingborg) is being replaced by a double track concrete bridge. A new bascule bridge will be built next to the existing single track King Frederik IX Bridge over the Guldborgsund at Nykøbing.
In April 2020 Danish MPs approved expenditure of €7bn to build the Fehmarnbelt tunnel to Germany. Work should start at the beginning of 2021, later than originally planned owing to delays in upgrading the line on the German side. Completion is expected in mid-2029.
Electrification is scheduled on the Vordingborg - Rødby line, followed by Roskilde - Holbæk and then Fredericia - Aarhus - Aalborg. Funds have also been allocated for Aalborg - Frederikshavn, Vejle - Struer and Holbæk - Kalundborg but it is likely to be a long time before this occurs
A new line from Vejle to Billund is planned. The possibility of a new line from Århus to Silkeborg via Galten will be investigated.
Most long-distance services (IC and Lyntog) are worked by modern diesel units, and many trains split to serve several destinations. Displays within carriages indicate the destination of that portion of the train. Passengers travelling first class may help themselves to free tea and coffee on the train. Most long distance trains include a section designated for families and a "quiet" coach, where loud conversations and use of mobile phones is not permitted.