National rail operator DSB may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel in its IC4 nightmare.
The delivery deadline for DSB receiving the last three IC4 trains from the Italian manufacturers Ansaldobreda will expire at the end of September. DSB can nullify the complete 83-train order should they not arrive on time, but that doesn’t look likely, DSB officials indicated.
“We’ve signed an agreement with Ansaldobreda and the conditions, in regards to finance and delivery, look on the brink of being satisfied,” Stig Pastwa, DSB's head of finance, told DR Nyheder.
A dream that was derailed
The IC4 trains have been an ongoing headache for DSB, which purchased the 83 train sets from Ansaldobreda in 2000 for 5.3 billion kroner with the intention of putting them into service in 2003. But long delays in delivery from the Italian company, along with a spate of errors that have kept them off the Danish rails, have resulted in just 23 of the 80 trains that DSB has received being fit for use. The final three trains are due to be delivered before the looming deadline, but will have to be tested before they can be officially used.
“Safety and stability is something that we highly prioritise and we only employ the trains when they are approved by the relevant authorities,” Pastwa said.
Aside from the three IC4 trains due by the end of September, Ansaldobreda still needs to deliver 12 IC2 trains (a shorter version of the IC4) by the end of October.
In June, DSB was forced to admit that some of the IC4 trains would probably never make it on to the Danish rails. The various problems with the IC4 trains have resulted in DSB spending approximately a billion kroner more than the 5.3 billion kroner purchase price.