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The Fixed Link across the Fehmarn Belt

The project will consist of a four-lane motorway and a double-track electrified railway. According to the plan, the Fehmarn Belt fixed link will open for traffic in 2028. The fixed link will be an immersed tunnel.

Tunnel-visualiseringIllustration: Femern A/S

18. May 2017

On 3 September 2008, Denmark and Germany signed the state treaty on a fixed link across the Fehmarn Belt. On 15 April 2009, the treaty was ratified by the Danish Parliament in the adoption of the Act on Project Planning of the Fixed Link across the Fehmarn Belt with hinterland connections in Denmark.

Denmark is responsible for the planning and design as well as the funding, construction and operation at the coming Fehmarn Belt fixed link. Denmark will also be sole owner and operator of the fixed link. Germany will upgrade  its land facilities on road and rail leading to the fixed link.

The project will consist of a four-lane motorway with emergency lanes and a double-track electrified railway. According to the plan, the Fehmarn Belt fixed link will open for traffic in 2028.

The Fehmarn Belt link will close a gap in the infrastructure between Scandinavia and continental Europe and will entail a higher level of flexibility and considerable time savings for both passenger transport and transport of goods, which is expected to increase significantly towards 2025.

Improved connections between Scandinavia and Central Europe is of great importance as this strengthens traffic connections to the major Danish export markets. As was the case with the fixed link across the Great Belt and Oresund, the Fehmarn Belt fixed link will similarly become a significant upgrade of both national and international transport corridors benefiting societal development and economic growth in Denmark.

The project not only entails the establishment of a fixed link across the Fehmarn Belt, but also an extension of the hinterland connections in Denmark and Germany. In Denmark, this includes e.g. an expansion of the railway infrastructure on South Zealand and Lolland-Falster (see map). The framework for the railway traffic is thereby strengthened through the project.

For trains passing through Funen and Jutland, the journey from Copenhagen to Hamburg will be shortened by approximately 160 km, which will benefit e.g. rail freight. In addition, road and rail traffic, which use the ferry connection between Rødby and Puttgarden today, will save about an hour travel time between Copenhagen and Hamburg. Besides the socio-economic gains connected with the reduced travel time, the fixed link will also bring about a reduction of CO2 emissions from the transport compared to continued ferry services.

The fixed link across the Fehmarn Belt will benefit regional traffic as railway capacity to regional traffic between Zealand, Funen and Jutland will be freed. The Fehmarn Belt fixed link will be a crucial contributory factor in the strengthening of the overall infrastructure between Eastern and Western Denmark.

The fixed link across the Fehmarn Belt is a high priority project in relation to the expansion of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the Commission granted 1.5 billion DKK via TEN-T. In 2015 the Commission granted approximately 4.4 billion DKK (589 million Euro) to the construction of the immersed tunnel in the period 2017-2019. The period has been prolonged to 2020.