Ramboll in the 1990s
In the 1990s, an extensive Danish rail project was finalized, and 350 km rail tracks were electrified. A new company name was decided and “Rambøll, Hannemann & B. Højlund Rasmussen” became “Ramboll”.
Call us Ramboll
25 years ago, our company name was Rambøll, Hannemann & B. Højlund Rasmussen. A merger in 1991 had put three names on the top of our corporate letter head. But in 1995 it was decided to go short and international. Hence, the company name became Ramboll.
Since that decision Ramboll has acquired many companies, and if all names were to be incorporated, the letter head would fill the entire page. In our latest decade 2010-2019 Ramboll has acquired 70 companies from most parts of the world.
Back in the day the internal storytelling behind the name change was about difficulties experienced by receptionists when answering the telephone, but one of the main rationales was internationalisation.
Since the company’s inception, Børge Rambøll’s philosophy had become a core part of the company and it was decided to name the company after him but without the Danish letter ø. Hence, it was short and could be used internationally.
The name was tested in countries all over the world and luckily this yielded positive reactions. The name was especially well regarded In India, where “Ram” is the name of one of the Hindu Gods and therefore Ramboll was a friend of Ram.
The internal anecdote about the need for a name change was articulated by Børge Rambøll, “Our receptionists were sad and tired of repeating all three names all day long. So, we agreed to shorten the name to Rambøll.”
As a result, the company had a new name that could work internationally, and the receptionists were also content.
Our current logo originates from 1995 and has been adjusted several times since then. However, the original basic principles still remain valid today.
In 1999, the last kilometer of a huge Danish rail project was finalized. Across the entire country from the seaside in the east to border to Germany in the southwest approx. 350 km rail tracks were electrified. Back in the day, electrification was mainly due to avoiding diesel-powered passenger trains in the long tunnel under the Great Belt and enable electric service in the freight corridor between Sweden and Germany.
Even though the project included some 20,000 steel masts carrying the electrical cord and equipment, it was not only Ramboll’s competences in steel which secured this work a place among our landmark projects. It was the innovative use of digital tools.
Of course, the steel work using corten-steel was awarded with a prize in the nineties, but the concept developed in the late eighties was way more innovative at that time. We automated the entire process with database technology and element method calculation.
The automated process was ground-braking and ahead of time. The process covered from field survey to detailed drawing of every individual mast. Hence, all the masts and their foundation were optimised and dimensioned to the specific load and placing. The concept was performed in close collaboration with the contractor who was to raise all the masts.
The detailed specifications of every single mast led to several advantages. It lowered the cost due to lesser use of steel and other materials. It minimised the time consumption the contractor should spend on foundations, which also led to fewer disruptions for the rail traffic. Last but not least, the project became cheaper and more sustainable.
Today, electrification is once again on the agenda. The remaining Danish tracks are being electrified as part of the green transition, and Ramboll is still playing a part in the project.
Ramboll’s experts today partner with our clients to deliver competitive and integrated solutions that are tailored to local conditions and compliant with international standards.
We provide professional engineering, design and consultancy services for a complete range of rail systems - from long distance rail to urban transport systems, such as metros and light rail.
Our leading expertise in the digitalisation of railways has been instrumental in the design of the world’s first and largest nationwide ERTMS system. We have extensive experience in light rail and metro projects across Northern Europe and our broad technical skills encompass everything from capacity analysis, electrification, safety, rolling stock and signal systems and ERTMS.
Explore the next decade
Find out how Ramboll developed in the 2000s