34 million Danes have crossed the Great Belt by train

34 million Danes have crossed the Great Belt by train

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02. juni 2004 kl. 11:18

The fixed link across the Great Belt has really made the Danes travel by train. A total of 34 million passengers chose to take the train to visit family or go on business trips across the Great Belt.

Before the opening of the fixed link, few people had realised how great an impact this new railway link would have on the travel pattern of the Danes. Compared to the situation before the bridge there has been an increase in the number of passengers of approximately 77 per cent. In April 1997, when the ferries were still sailing across the Great Belt, some 330,000 passengers travelled by train. Five years later, in April 2002, that figure had gone up to 585,000 passengers. Approximately 20 per cent of the total number of passengers across the Great Belt are commuters. Before the opening of the link the share was 1 to 2 per cent.

Today, DSB holds 27 per cent of the market for East / West travels across the Great Belt. And the number of passengers is increasing every year.

Queen Margrethe II carried out the official inauguration on 1 June 1997 and was the first to cross the Sound in a special VIP train. Subsequently, the link was opened for all customers, and the interest in securing a seat on the first ordinary train through the tunnel was enormous.

The Great Belt link became the great attraction of the summer of 1997. In July that same year, train passenger number 1 million crossed the Great Belt, and in the course of the autumn of that year, there was a shortage of seats in many trains on account of the overwhelming increase in customers.

The car link across the Great Belt opened on 14 June 1998, and resulted in a drop in the number of passengers of some 12 per cent. However, following the opening of the railway link to Copenhagen's International Airport on 28 September 1998, many business travellers were so satisfied with the change from plane to train that they continued to travel by train.

In order to maintain the leisure travellers, DSB introduced a new Great Belt ticket, DSB Orange, which made it possible to cross the Great Belt and return on the same day for half the price of a normal ticket during the summer period. This Orange ticket may be used from 17 June to 15 August.

On 17 May this year DSB surpassed all previous records with a total of 34,600 train passengers. This proves that the train is competitive compared with the private car.