14 June 2022
The Odense tramway welcomed its first passengers on 28 May 2022, when the country's second tramway network, after the one in Aarhus, went into service.

A new tram has recently been running in Odense. Located on the island of Fionie, 165km west of Copenhagen, it is Denmark’s third largest city, with a population of more than 200,000, and the second city in the country to be equipped with a tramway, five years after Aarhus. What these two networks of ‘letbane’, the local name for trams, have in common is SYSTRA’s participation as an engineer.

A tramway for Andersen’s home town

SYSTRA acted as assistant to the project owner, first as co-contractor and then as sub-contractor to the engineering firm COWI. We were involved in the early stages of the technical design of this tramway, starting with the management of the technical specifications, the environmental impact assessment, and the preliminary studies. We then contributed to the review of the design studies, assisted the client in the tendering process, and supervised the rolling stock phase through to the testing and commissioning phases.

We were proud to take part in this emblematic project for the town and region. The inauguration marks the end of a long period in the development of public transport in Odense. The inauguration was the occasion for a large popular celebration, which proves the appeal of this mode of transport.  We look forward to helping Denmark transform again, as we are already doing with the automation of the S-Tog network and for the electrification of the rail network.

Patrice Laville, SYSTRA Project Manager

Supporting the development of collective mobility

Behind the Odense tramway, the Danish authorities and our end client, the Odense Letbaner organising authority, are aiming for a modal shift. The line runs through the city centre and connects the main hubs of the city in 42 minutes. From north to south, the line serves Odense Banegård Central Station, the new University Hospital, the campus of Syddansk University, as well as two shopping centres and the Odense Stadium. The integration of the equipment in the space (catenary poles, overhead contact line, platforms, and signage) was designed to be as discreet as possible.

Back after 70 years of absence

From 1911 to 1952, Odense already had a tram network. This was replaced by buses, which were considered faster and more flexible, like many lines in France. At a time of energy transition and increasing transport needs, the tramway has become an obvious choice. Two complementary branches are being considered to develop this network in the future. The local authorities will decide on the routes and timetable for this new phase in autumn 2022 at the earliest.

Key facts – Odense Tramway

  • Length: 14.5km
  • 26 stations
  • Traffic forecast:
    • Up to 35,000 passengers/day
    • Up to 11 million passengers/year
  • Travel time: 42 minutes from Tarup in the north to Hjallese in the south

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