L1105 - (Universitetshospitalet, Skejby, 22.12.17)DSC_0633_Balancer
Aarhus Letbane, day 2 after opening.
Brand: Stadler Variobahn
Operator: Keolis for Aarhus Letbane
Fleet#: 05 (marked 1105 and 1205)
L1105 at the Universitetshospitalet terminus. The name means "the university hospital" and is better known as Skejby Sygehus. It is a huge complex, still under construction, wards taken in use as they get completed. Once fully built, the hospital (some of which is seen on the left) will be treating patients from most of Denmark and employ some of the world's leading specialists in a number of medical fields.
The reason for placing the terminus here is not, that danes are constantly ill... there's a large concentration of educational facilities and major companies in the immediate vicinity.
On december 21st 2017, after countless delays and test-drives equalling the distance twice around the globe, Aarhus Letbane (Aarhus Light Rail) was finally inaugurated.
To celebrate the day, rides were free and locals and tourists alike grabbed the chance to go for a test run.
The first route, opened on this day is rather short and mainly covers the inner city of Aarhus, connecting the main rail station Aarhus H to the hospital Skejby Sygehus north of the city centre.
Two further stages have already been built, covering much larger distances - one to Odder, south of Aarhus, and the other to Grenaa, Djursland. The latter is by far the longest route and will be served by trains of a different type (Stadler Tango)
The Odder-route is currently scheduled to open in "early 2018" while the Grenaa branch should follow later that year.
The introduction of a light rail system in Aarhus brings many advantages, but also comes at a price, in more ways than one. In order to finance the construction and daily running, several bus routes have been reduced or completely abandoned, including quite a few in areas not benefitting from the light rail, so opinions on the project are divided, since for some, public transportation has not been improved, but severely worsened.