The Danish Parliament has approved a proposed Construction Act for a road and rail tunnel known as the Fehmarnbelt fixed link.
The Fehmarnbelt fixed link is a proposed 18km tunnel between RÃ¸dbyhavn on Lolland and Puttgarden on the German island of Fehmarn. In addition, the rail line between RÃ¸dbyhavn and Ringsted will be upgraded through the addition of two electrified rail tracks allowing for speeds of up to 200 km/h. With the Fehmarnbelt link, travel time between Copenhagen and Hamburg will be reduced by around 2.5 hours.
The agreed Construction Act constitutes final environmental approval of the project in Denmark and allows the state-owned companies, Femern A/S and A/S Femern LandanlÃ¦g to construct and operate a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt and associated landworks in Denmark respectively.
The political decision in Germany to build the Fehmarnbelt link was taken in 2009 with ratification of the State Treaty agreed between Denmark and Germany in 2008.
Once a German plan approval is put place and parliamentary parties behind the Fehmarnbelt fixed link have reviewed the overall economics in autumn this year, construction work can begin. Over the past months, Femern A/S has been negotiating with the international contractor Consortia, which have submitted bids for the major construction contracts. After summer 2015 the company will present a comprehensive financial assessment and an updated time schedule for the project to the parliamentary parties behind the Fehmarnbelt.
The Construction Act grants the power to purchase farmland, a small number of wind turbines and industrial areas for the motorway, rail line and future tunnel.
Johnny Restrup-SÃ¸rensen, Contract Director â€“ Railway at Femern A/S, will be contributing two informative articles about the Fehmarnbelt fixed link in forthcoming issues of European Railway Review. The first will be about the signalling and train control aspects of the new line (published in July 2015) and the second will cover tunnel safety aspects (published in September 2015). To guarantee you receive the issues in print and for access to read them online, subscribe today by visiting europeanrailwayreview.com/subscribe.