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Which is the best alternative?

Which is the best alternative?

| Text: Fayme Alm

The Nordic Labour Journal put the same question to the project leaders for the three proposed new links between Sweden and Denmark. This is how they argue for their alternatives.

What are the advantages of your proposal?

Leif Gjesing for Öresundsmetro between Malmö and Copenhagen:

  • The Öresundsmetro handles the local traffic and frees up space for goods and long-distance trains on the Öresund bridge.
  • If the new metro line is linked with the Öresundsmetro it will connect with the available infrastructure on the Danish side and partially on the Swedish side. Two new metro stations in Västra hamnen (the western harbour) in Malmö need to be constructed.
  • The journey between Copenhagen Central Station and Malmö C with the Öresundsmetro will take 23 minutes.

Hanne Skak Jensen for Europaspåret (The European Track) between Landskrona and Copenhagen:

  • Europaspåret is the only proposal that can handle both goods and long-distance trains and therefore the only proposal that can solve the challenge of capacity and redundancy.
  • A tunnel from Landskrona can be linked to the available rail networks in both Denmark and Sweden.
  • Öresund is very shallow between Copenhagen and Landskrona. A tunnel here can have a relatively gentle slope. Long and heavy trains carrying goods cannot handle steep slopes.
  • Europaspåret would allow regional trains to travel both via the Öresund bridge and via Landskrona, which would create a circle. If you are in Lund, you can travel to Copenhagen via Landskrona and be sure to arrive even at times when trains cannot travel across the Öresund bridge.

Sten Hansen for Fast HH-förbindelse (Helsingborg – Helsingør):

  • This is the shortest distance across Öresund, only 4 kilometres, which means we have the best preconditions. A commuter ferry has long existed here.
  • Fast HH-förbindelse is the only link that has been assessed by both countries as a user-financed alternative.
  • Fast HH-förbindelse will be our small contribution to an integrated Nordic region. In Helsingborg, the E4 and E6 roads meet. From here you can travel to Norway or carry on north to the rest of Sweden and Finland. Skåne is a gateway to the rest of the Nordics.
  • A tunnel would cut the journey from 25 minutes by ferry to 5 minutes. 

How will the link be financed? 

Leif Gjesing for Öresundsmetro between Malmö and Köpenhamn:

  • Mainly through Öresundsmetro ticket sales, possibly EU support and financing from the Danish and Swedish states via possible surplus income from the Öresund bridge and its onshore facilities once these have been paid off.

 Hanne Skak Jensen for Europaspåret between Landskrona and Copenhagen:

  • With EU contributions and state loans which will be paid back through transport fees. It can all be paid back over 40 years according to our calculations.

 Sten Hansen for Fast HH-förbindelse:

  • In the same way as the Öresund bridge. That means user fees. So this new link will not be paid for over the Swedish or Danish national budgets.

The majority of Copenhagen politicians have decided to support an assessment of how an Öresundsmetro from Malmö might link directly to the existing Copenhagen metro. What do you think about that?

Leif Gjesing for Öresundsmetro between Malmö and Copenhagen:

  • We welcome this and see two different conclusions. The positive one: A decision to create a link on the new M5 metro line in Copenhagen which opens for a political decision at a later date to build an Öresundsmetro to Malmö. The negative one: A decision not to create a link on the M5 metro line in Copenhagen. That would not mean that work on establishing an Öresundsmetro stops, but it will take longer to assess how to connect a metro from Malmö to the Copenhagen metro. A further possibility is to add switches in tunnels pointing to Malmö when the new line is being built.

Hanne Skak Jensen for Europaspåret between Landskrona and Copenhagen:

  • We don’t really see a metro as a competitive proposal, it is like comparing apples and oranges. Our proposal solves the issues of capacity and redundancy for long-distance and regional trains with another connection, while a metro cannot accommodate goods trains. That’s why the metro cannot compete with our proposal.
  • There is nothing stopping having both a metro and a Europaspår between Landskrona and Köpenhamn in the long term. 

Sten Hansen for Fast HH-förbindelse:

  • Positive. In Skåne there was an agreement called Skånebilden as early as 2015 which prioritised a permanent link between Helsingborg and Helsingør and a metro between Malmö and Copenhagen.

What is the next step?

Leif Gjesing for Öresundsmetro between Malmö and Copenhagen:

  • The City of Malmö welcomes the decision to assess a connection and has offered to finance part of the environmental impact assessment for how the Öresundsmetro might link to M5. This is a big job which the City of Copenhagen is financing and organising together with the Danish government, which owns the Copenhagen metro. The cost is 150 million Danish kroner (€20.12m). 3 million are earmarked to find out how the metro can be linked to Malmö. The assessment is due to be published in 2024.

Hanne Skak Jensen for Europaspåret between Landskrona and Copenhagen:

  • We believe there is a need to analyse the problems – what must be solved – and to find possible solutions in order to make the correct decisions. So we will continue to push the project both on regional and national levels in order to get it further up on the agenda. We try to find a way forward so that both Denmark and Sweden can agree on what is needed. This is a large and complex issue with many factors and many stakeholders.

Sten Hansen for Fast HH-förbindelse:

  • For the Danish and Swedish governments to establish a joint commission to come up with more detailed assessments with precise policies. History shows that we might need more than one commission. And joint cooperation.
  • In Helsingborg, we have had what we call a Request for Information, where we have asked consultancy firms, construction firms, investors, lawyers and others for advice. They are all involved with infrastructure in some shape or other. We are now drawing conclusions based on the views these 16 companies have given us. We will use this to plan and build large projects like a new permanent link between Helsingborg and Helsingør.
  • Our politicians in Helsingborg are in constant dialogue with their party colleagues, they work with Skånes County politicians and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden.

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