RE:AL in English

About the the RE:AL Project - English summary

The purpose of the RE:AL programme is to support initiatives that can secure the integration and transformation of existing railroads into light rail and help increase the energy optimisation of the light rail system in Aarhus. The project was concluded as planned July 15th 2016.

For Aarhus Light Rail, specific targets had been set for energy efficiency and a reduction in CO2-emissions:

  • Energy efficiency: Annual savings of 47 GW
  • CO2 emission: Annual reductions of 7300 tonnes

The programme progressed in two work streams:

  1. Preparation of the technical integration needed when transforming the railway to light rail, including electrification and the continued ability to handle freight trains.
  2. Studies and integration of innovative solutions for energy optimisation of the light rail system and power supply.



The transformation from an existing railway to an electric light rail, which still must be able to handle freight trains, was a complex task. However, the experiences gained from the project will be useful in other European countries wanting to replace diesel-driven trains with more environmentally friendly means of transportation.

The concrete projects of the RE:AL programme were about developing safety regulation for Denmark’s first light rail as well as enter agreements with the current owners of Grenaabanen (Rail Net Denmark) and Odderbanen (Midtjyske Jernbaner) about the management of the infrastructure.

Another project analysed how to carry out immunisation of the signalling installations of Aarhus’ central station. Immunisation isolates the electric power for the light rail trams from the railway tracks, thereby ensuring correct signalling for all trains entering the station.

Finally, a study of how to implement new platform forefronts on Grenaabanen’s stations in order to ensure good accessibility to the light rail trains while maintaining the ability to handle freight trains, was also carried out.   


In connection with the introduction of light rail traffic on Odderbanen and Grenaabanen, both railways will be electrified.

In this regard, the concrete projects of the RE:AL programme examined the possibilities of increasing the efficiency in the energy supply system as well as optimising the combined light rail system.

A project for further advancing the sustainable operation of Aarhus Light Rails’ Control and Maintenance Center was also carried out.


The RE:AL programme hold several projects rooted in the combined light rail project of the Aarhus area – e.g. within the construction phase, the coming operational phase and in the planning for further stages of Aarhus Light Rail.  

Going forward, results of the programme will continue the cooperation between Aarhus Letbane Drift I/S and Aarhus Letbane I/S in order to ensure that knowledge about energy optimisation will be part of the Light Rail Cooperation’s work with future stages of Aarhus Light Rail.


The funding comes out of the European Local ENergy Assistance programme (ELENA) – a part of the European Commission’s Intelligent Energy-Europe programme. ELENA provides support for construction and transportation projects that secure investments in energy savings and sustainable energy.

The RE:AL programme ran from July 15 2013 to July 15 2016. During these three years, the European Investment Bank supported the project with 14.2 million DKR.

Read more about ELENA

ELENA fact sheet