Fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt

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Location of the planned Fehmarnbelt link
Satellite image with the ferry route of the Vogelfluglinie over the Fehmarnbelt
The fixed Fehmarnbelt link ( green) and the alternative Rostock-Gedser link (red)

The fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt is a planned transport link under the Fehmarnbelt between Denmark and Germany . The construction project is part of the core network corridors of the trans-European networks within the framework of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean axis . It provides for a 17.6 kilometer long link and an expansion of the rail and road hinterland connections in Germany and Denmark. On the German side, the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link consists of four interconnected construction projects. In addition to the Fehmarnbelt tunnel with a ramp on the German side at the Puttgarden ferry port, there is a wider federal road 207 , the double-track expansion of the route in the hinterland and a new crossing of the Fehmarnsund between the island and the German mainland.

The costs of around 7.4 billion euros for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt crossing (tunnel) alone are mainly borne by Denmark. The client will be Femern A / S , which is part of Sund & Bælt Holding A / S , a 100% state-owned company owned by the Danish Ministry of Transport. Tolls in the amount of today's ship passage fees are intended to refinance the project. The construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel was initially due to start in 2015, and commissioning was scheduled for 2021. Due to the length of the approval process on the German side, especially the 7-year plan approval process, commissioning is not expected before 2028. Template: future / in 5 yearsThe implementation is planned as a four-tube submerged tunnel and was preferred to the originally planned bridge solution.

Initial situation and interests

Geographical situation and history

The Fehmarnbelt is the strait in the western Baltic Sea between the islands of Fehmarn (Germany) and Lolland (Denmark). Together with the neighboring districts (Ostholstein district in Schleswig-Holstein and Sjælland region in Denmark) and the city of Lübeck, both islands form the Fehmarnbelt region , a European region . The shortest connection across the Belt between the ports of Puttgarden and Rødbyhavn is 18.6 km.

The route known as the Vogelfluglinie via Hamburg , the Fehmarnbelt and Copenhagen is the shortest connection from Western Europe to Southern Scandinavia. As early as 1940, after the occupation of Denmark in the Second World War , plans were drawn up by the architect Heinrich Bartmann on behalf of the Hamburg Gauleiter Kaufmann to cross both the Fehmarnsund and the Fehmarnbelt with bridges for railways and motorways.

Heinrich Bartmann's proposal to cross Fehmarnsund and Fehmarnbelt in 1941

After the connection of the island of Fehmarn to the German mainland by means of the Fehmarnsund Bridge in 1963, the route over the Fehmarnbelt was operated jointly by the German and Danish state railways as a "bird flight line", with ferries for rail and road traffic to the Fehmarnbelt every 30 minutes a crossing duration of 45 minutes. DFO GmbH , which operates ferry traffic, was merged with Scandlines A / S in 1998 under the umbrella of Scandlines  AG , newly founded by Deutsche Bahn AG and the Danish Ministry of Transport .

Since 1997, the rail freight traffic from Germany to Copenhagen or the economically strong Öresund region has been routed over the longer Jutland line via Flensburg and through the newly built Great Belt railway tunnel . Night trains for passenger transport also take this route. The long-distance passenger traffic on the Hamburg-Copenhagen took the Vogelfluglinie to 14 December 2019. Since then, the day trains between Hamburg and Copenhagen run to completion of the Fehmarn Belt connection via Jutland and Funen. Since the Vogelfluglinie shortens the distance between Hamburg and Copenhagen by 160 km compared to the route over the Great Belt, it remains interesting for road traffic thanks to time and fuel savings even after the road bridge over the Great Belt opened in 1998.

According to the planners of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, the almost 18-kilometer-long Fehmarnbelt tunnel should shorten the transit time of vehicles compared to ferry transport from 45 to 10 minutes. The fixed connection would reduce the travel time from Hamburg to Copenhagen (340 km) from 4:30 hours (travel time 2008 including ferry, waiting time, embarkation and disembarkation) to 2:40 hours and that of passenger trains even to 2:30 hours. The extension of the A1 autobahn between Heiligenhafen and Puttgarden (25 km) would shorten the journey time by another 5 minutes. Stays at the toll station can be avoided by using automatic debiting options when driving through.

Traffic development and forecast

Even before the opening of the Great Belt Link, traffic across the Fehmarnbelt was not very heavy in a European comparison. It accounted for about half the traffic across the Great Belt and two thirds of the traffic across the Øresund between Denmark and Sweden. In 1996, 994,000 cars and 272,000  trucks crossed the Fehmarnbelt  as well as a total of 1,435,000 bus passengers and 717,000 train passengers. Danish estimates assume an increase in car and truck journeys by 2010, which, however, with a fixed connection e.g. T. could be increased many times over. For train passengers without a fixed connection, a decline was even predicted, but in the event of construction, the number at that time would almost triple. The feasibility study presented in a short version at the end of March 1999, which was commissioned by the governments in Copenhagen and Bonn as early as 1994, assumed, in the case of a fixed link, that passenger traffic would only increase by 40% by 2010.

The volume of goods traffic across the Fehmarnbelt was estimated at 6.9 million t in 1993 , of which around half were transported by rail and half by road. Estimates by the Danish Ministry of Transport predicted that in 2010 a volume of 11.3 million tonnes of goods would be transported on a fixed Fehmarnbelt link.

All estimates mentioned are subject to a high degree of uncertainty. For example, a study by the Danish Road Association from 1991 found a freight volume of 17 million tonnes and 9½ million car passengers for the case of a permanent connection in 2000, more than four times as much as forecast by the Danish Ministry of Transport for 2010 . Investigations in similar projects (Øresund, Great Belt, English Channel) also showed that the current compared to the estimated transport demand falls below the current between 20 and 70% the rule. In contrast, traffic on the Øresund Bridge increased by 21% in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the same quarter in the previous year. In the first five years of its existence, the volume of traffic doubled. The truck traffic grew at the same rate as the total traffic over the bridge.

According to the transport integration forecast for 2030 by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure from June 11, 2014, traffic between Germany and Denmark is expected to grow from 22.5 million  t (for 2010) to a total of 34.5 million t in 2030 (total from rail + road). The growth forecast of 2.2% annually is thus much higher than the pure domestic German growth forecast of 0.8%.

Due to the eastward expansion of the EU , the flow of traffic in the Baltic Sea area increased significantly. The annual economic growth in the Baltic Sea region is forecast to be four to six percent. According to the Fehmarnbelt Forecast 2002 study, it would grow by 50% (passenger traffic) and 55% (freight traffic) by 2015 compared to 2001. The ferry service had already reached its capacity limit at times. During the main travel season in summer, the backwater from the Puttgarden ferry terminal reached back to the mainland, with waiting times of over five hours.

The shipping company Scandlines definitely wants to continue ferry traffic on the Vogelfluglinie even after the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel.

Political interests

Denmark and Sweden

Politics and business in Denmark, and particularly in southern Sweden, have long been pushing for a permanent link, i. H. a bridge or tunnel that would shorten the distance to the important markets in Western Europe considerably (Malmö to the German border in about 2 hours). In contracts for the construction of the land connection between Denmark and Sweden via the Öresund, the Danish government was obliged to “work towards a land connection across the Fehmarnbelt if such a connection should prove to be economically and ecologically sound”. The director of the Öresund Committee at the time, Birger Olofsson, hoped that the new bird route would be ready by 2006. Large parts of the organized Danish public, i.e. government, parliament, business associations, trade unions and numerous political parties and interest groups support a fixed Fehmarnbelt link. The reasons are a hoped-for better economic situation in European competition and an improvement in the employment situation.

From the beginning of the 1990s, studies and feasibility studies were commissioned to a greater extent, which already led to an intensified discussion in Denmark. Thanks to the construction of the Great Belt and Öresund crossings, specialists have already been able to gain experience on similar projects. The Association of the Danish Construction Industry emphasized as early as 1998 that construction “must start within the next four years, otherwise the qualified specialists and experts who have moved together in Denmark would be distributed to other projects around the world”.

In March 2010 the Swedish government announced plans for another crossing of the Oresund (HH-Link). The governments of Sweden and Denmark decided on June 15, 2010 to evaluate a tunnel. It was suspected that with the opening of the Fehmarnbelt link planned at the time in 2018, the capacity of the Øresund link would no longer be sufficient if freight traffic was relocated from the ferry to the rail. Furthermore, the E 22 between Kristianstad and Malmö was to become a continuous motorway by 2013 .

On April 28, 2015, the Danish Parliament decided to build the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel.

Schleswig-Holstein / Germany

With a cabinet resolution of December 14, 1999, the Schleswig-Holstein state government decided in favor of the implementation of a fixed Fehmarnbelt link. In the coalition agreement at state level between the CDU and the SPD of April 16, 2005, it was listed as a priority project whose implementation is sought. There are fears that the region will lose some jobs in the ferry sector and in particular in the tourism industry, which is the main industry on the island of Fehmarn. A major shift in motor vehicle traffic from the Great Belt connection to the Vogelfluglinie would have a significant negative impact on tourism on Fehmarn, especially since the island has been trying for years to build an image of environmentally friendly tourism through new concepts in local transport and active programs for alternative energy generation.

Environmental organizations and parties had also spoken out against a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt. According to the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU), a bridge would significantly affect around six to ten million migratory birds per year during their flight. The Fehmarnbelt plays a key role in the migration of arctic waterfowl. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the Fehmarnbelt is one of the most important areas for the exchange of water between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The feasibility study of 1999 estimated, however, that the interference of the link in the environmental situation of the Baltic Sea would be "not significant". With a connection planned in the knowledge of this problem, the flow would probably be blocked even less than by the ferries of the Vogelfluglinie. However, this information was later revoked.

The red-green state government in Schleswig-Holstein showed increased commitment to a Fehmarnbelt link around 1998. For example, the independent Schleswig-Holstein Minister of Economics and Transport, Horst Günter Bülck, expected a “new upswing” for his country if the project were to be implemented and certified the Fehmarnbelt crossing “in addition to the construction of the Baltic Sea motorway ( A 20 ) and the electrification of the Hamburg – Lübeck railway line first priority". These three transport projects were also mentioned by the then Prime Minister Heide Simonis in her government declaration of October 23, 1998 under the heading “Future Opportunity for Baltic Sea Policy”.

A "Baltic Sea Initiative Group", newly founded in January 1999, which brought together numerous social groups in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, was intended to provide impetus for the further development of international cooperation in the southern Baltic region. Before this forum too, the Schleswig-Holstein state government emphasized the priority of the above-mentioned transport projects.

At the federal political level, the Fehmarnbelt fixed link also has supporters. In the coalition agreement of November 11, 2005 between the CDU, CSU and SPD, the crossing was included as a PPP reference project for Germany. The Federal Ministry of Transport promised the Schleswig-Holstein state government its support for the project. Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, was critical of the planned project because of the open funding in the 2006 state election campaign in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania . In February 2007 published an article under the heading “Tiefensee duped Danes”, in which the then Transport Minister Tiefensee was quoted as saying that the fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt was “not an excellent priority” for the federal government. In 2007, Federal Transport Minister Tiefensee, his Danish counterpart Flemming Hansen and the Transport Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Dietrich Austermann, met in Berlin and agreed to build a bridge over the Fehmarnbelt.


In a 1994 “ White Paper ”, the European Commission counted the fixed Fehmarnbelt connection among the most urgent European transport projects, which are considered to be the core group of the trans-European networks (TEN) . Subsequently, a list of the priority TEN-T projects was drawn up, in which the cross-border fixed Fehmarnbelt link with the rail hinterland connections (project no. 20) was included. Here too, as in Danish and Swedish studies and contracts, the need for additional research was always pointed out.

There are also voices against the planned project at European level. The international science and planning association “Baltic Sea Network” expects that the people in the affected region will only benefit temporarily from the project, which is proven by examples such as the Channel Tunnel. After completion of the construction work, they would be even more isolated from the already economically strong regions that are to be linked by the major project.

Implementation and consequences


According to cost estimates in 2008, the selected tunnel solution should cost around 5½ billion euros. Denmark will own the tunnel through a state-owned operating company and will pre-finance the project through loans. A repayment of these loans is to through toll revenue happen. The tunnel and the Danish hinterland connection are estimated to have paid for themselves after 39 years.

As the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link is a priority project under the EU's TEN program , Denmark can count on grants from this program. Half of the planning costs and 10 to 20 percent of the construction costs were accepted by the operating company in 2011, which corresponds to a subsidy of around EUR 650 million to EUR 1.18 billion. In June 2015 it was announced that the EU budget for the period 2016 to 2019 will amount to around 589 million euros.

In the decision of the Danish parliament in April 2015, the construction costs for the tunnel were estimated at 7.4 billion euros. The Federal Audit Office criticized the increase in the costs of the hinterland connection on the German side from 800 million to 2.2 billion euros.

Change in the traffic situation

In November 2015, DB Netz stated that the fixed Fehmarnbelt link would cut the travel time of passenger trains between Hamburg and Copenhagen from previously over 5 hours (July 2019) to less than 3 hours. In September 2017, she named her goal of shortening the travel time of this city connection to under 2½ hours. For freight trains previously traveling via Flensburg , a fixed crossing means a shortening of the route by around 160 km.

The railway line is to be equipped with ETCS .


The time savings in rail transport could possibly also be achieved through more cost-effective measures. According to an expert report by Pro Bahn , the journey time for trains from Hamburg to Copenhagen could be reduced from four and a half hours to four hours at around 410 million euros. The shorter travel time between the two metropolises could be achieved by expanding the existing railway line for speeds of up to 160 km / h, using faster railway ferries and an optimized timetable (200 km / h, approx. 1.4 billion euros, 30 min time savings ). The expansion of the hinterland connection (from Lübeck to Puttgarden) to a continuous double-track route with a corresponding volume of freight trains and day and night traffic can reduce the property values ​​along the route. The noise pollution can result in a loss of attractiveness of the Baltic Sea holiday region with losses in income and jobs.

The state planning assessment of May 6, 2014 at the end of the regional planning procedure (ROV), in which a partial new building along the A1 was decided, shows that local passenger transport is no longer to be carried out by rail. The new construction would allow additional trains for local public transport, despite the sharp increase in freight traffic, but the closure of the existing route (previous railway line further east at the coastal towns) is also planned. This means that the new line also serves primarily to connect the more distant cities in passenger traffic and not to improve (or maintain) local traffic, an important precondition for the promised economic upturn in Ostholstein through the project.

From a supraregional perspective, the Rostock-Gedser crossing represents an alternative to the Baltic Sea crossing on the Fehmarnbelt, which could ease the situation of through traffic in the Hamburg area and would meet the need for a better connection between the Eastern European economic regions and Scandinavia.

Implementation options

Not only the question of whether a fixed link should be implemented at all was controversial, but also the question of how it should be implemented. A bridge, a tunnel or a combination of both were conceivable. The Femern A / S as a builder announced in November 2010, it informed the Danish Minister of Transport that the preferred solution of the company for the fixed link an immersed tunnel was. In early 2011, Danish politicians promised their support for this proposal.

According to Femern A / S's recommendation , various points were decisive for the tunnel solution . The safety of shipping is one of these issues. Since the Fehmarnbelt, which is already heavily used, is further narrowed with a bridge, there is always a risk of collision with damage to the bridge, ship and the environment. The technical risk is also assumed to be greater when building a bridge with required spans of more than 700 meters than when building an immersed tunnel , even if it has to be built at a greater depth than in other projects.

Environmental aspects

The NABU fears damage to harbor porpoises resident in the region . The project operator argues that the construction work will affect a maximum of ten harbor porpoises for a limited period of time.

Political basis of the construction project

As early as 1989, two German construction companies presented a concept for a bridge or tunnel crossing on the Fehmarnbelt.

As early as the end of 2006, the governments in Berlin and Copenhagen wanted to decide whether the project of the fixed Belt Link should be implemented. However, the decision was postponed again until July 1, 2007, as Germany had a covered attitude towards the link. However, Denmark signaled that it might take on a higher share of the construction costs, estimated at around 5 billion euros at the time, if the toll revenue later turned out to be in Denmark's favor. On June 29, 2007, the two responsible transport ministers, Flemming Hansen (Denmark) and Wolfgang Tiefensee (Germany), agreed on the construction of the link. Denmark pays the costs of the crossing structure and thus receives the entire toll income.

As a preparatory measure, the last section of the E 47 was expanded into a motorway on the Danish side at the end of 2007 , so that there is a continuous connection from the Rødbyhavn ferry terminal to Copenhagen and on to Oslo and Stockholm. On the German side, the A1 autobahn was extended to Heiligenhafen in 2008 . The last section of 25 kilometers of motorway, including an expansion of the previously two-lane Fehmarnsund Bridge or a new Fehmarnsund crossing, was still up for discussion at that time and was finally included in the expansion goals of the State Treaty.

The Planning Acceleration Act (PBG) passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in November 2018 may have an impact on the rights of residents and those affected by the Fehmarnbelt link to object.

state contract

On September 3, 2008 in Copenhagen, Germany and Denmark (represented by the then German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee and his Danish colleague Carina Christensen and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Christoph Jessen ) signed the state treaty for the construction of a fixed crossing (bridge or tunnel) for the rails - and road traffic across the 19 kilometers wide Fehmarnbelt as well as the necessary hinterland connections in Germany and Denmark. Since it is an intergovernmental treaty, ratification by the Danish and German legislators was necessary. On July 10, 2009, the German State Treaty was finally ratified by the Federal Council after the Bundestag's prior approval . On the Danish side, this already happened on March 26, 2009 through the Folketing . Denmark will therefore build and operate the fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt (crossing structure, ramps on the Danish and German sides) and bear the costs. Germany will finance and build the hinterland connection on the German side. Furthermore, the Danish state will levy toll fees for the use of the fixed connection across the Fehmarnbelt via an operating company .

Expansion goals

Germany and Denmark are solely responsible for the expansion and financing of the hinterland connections. The E 47 motorway already has four lanes between Copenhagen and Rødbyhavn in Denmark .

According to the state treaty, the following measures are planned for the hinterland connections in Germany and Denmark:

Expansion target meeting
on the German side
four-lane expansion of the federal road between Heiligenhafen (east) and Puttgarden by the opening of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link at the latest
Electrification of the railway line between Lübeck and Puttgarden
Double-track expansion and electrification of the railway line between Bad Schwartau and Puttgarden no later than seven years after the opening of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link
Exception: on the existing Fehmarnsund Bridge, the road connection is to remain with two lanes and the railway line with a single track.
on the Danish side
Electrification of the existing railway line between Ringsted and Rødbyhavn by the opening of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link at the latest
Double-track expansion and electrification of the railway line between Vordingborg and Storstrømsbroen and between Orehoved and Rødbyhavn
four-lane motorway (E 47) between Sakskøbing and Rødbyhavn (already expanded)

Planning the construction project

The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link consists of four interconnected construction projects. In addition to the Fehmarnbelt tunnel with a ramp on the German side in the Puttgarden ferry port, there is a wider federal road 207 , the double-track expansion of the route in the hinterland and a new crossing over the Fehmarnsund between the island and the German mainland.

Fehmarnbelt tunnel

Oil rig off Rødby for the execution of test drilling for the Fehmarnbelt link in September 2015

On February 1, 2011, the Danish Parliament approved plans to implement the Fehmarnbelt link as an immersed tunnel, as proposed by the planning and operating company Femern A / S. The main arguments were the expectation of lower costs and environmental impact. At that time, construction was expected to start in 2014 and open in 2020. In the meantime, these dates have been postponed several times.

The official, international tender for the project took place on August 27, 2013 at a first meeting of representatives of the prequalified consortia and the client in Copenhagen .

On October 18, 2013 Femern A / S officially submitted the application to start the planning approval procedure for the German section of the tunnel. From May 5 to June 6, 2014, the planning approval documents were made public by the responsible hearing authority, the State Office for Road Construction and Transport (LBV) Schleswig-Holstein, in Kiel, Lübeck, on Fehmarn and in other communities and cities in East Holstein. Up until July 3, 2014, affected citizens were able to submit objections and public authorities to submit comments on the tunnel project.

In the context of the planning approval procedure, the State Office for Road Construction and Transport Schleswig-Holstein received 3,100 objections. These are negotiated with the applicant in public discussions, on the basis of which the LBV Schleswig-Holstein draws up a plan approval decision. Femern A / S expected a plan approval decision, which represents the final approval for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel on the German side, in May 2015. The answers to the 12,600 objections on the German side were sent on February 15, 2017 by Femern A / S to Schleswig -Holstein planning approval authority handed over the state company for road construction and traffic . The planning approval decision was issued in January 2019.

German hinterland connection

German rail expansion
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from Hamburg
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Lübeck Central Station
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Bad Schwartau
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Ratekau / Timmendorfer Strand
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Timmendorfer beach
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Oldenburg in Holstein
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Oldenburg / Heiligenhafen
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planned Fehmarnsund tunnel
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Castle West
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planned Fehmarnbelt tunnel
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to Denmark

In May 2010, the state of Schleswig-Holstein decided to initiate a spatial planning procedure for the rail hinterland connection via the Lübeck – Puttgarden railway line . An application conference was held on June 22, 2010 for this purpose. The aim of the procedure is to clarify the spatial interventions associated with the project with the involvement of municipalities, authorities, professional associations and the public and, if possible, to examine all aspects. The building readiness was aimed for in 2016 and the commissioning for 2020 (status: October 2011).

On November 11, 2010, the Federal Ministry of Transport published the result of the review of the requirement plan for the federal railways. It stated a cost volume of 817 million euros and a benefit-cost ratio of 6.7 for the hinterland connection of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link.

The electrification of the existing German line should be completed in 2021, the construction of the second track in 2028 (as of December 2013). A total of 817 million euros were earmarked for both measures (as of 2013).

The documents required for the regional planning procedure had been compiled by the end of 2012 and the procedure was finally initiated by the competent authority in January 2013.

On May 6, 2014, the Schleswig-Holstein State Chancellery published the result of the regional planning procedure. According to this - deviating from the previous plan - a new route of about 55 kilometers in length is planned near the motorway with bypasses of the municipalities of Ratekau, Lensahn and Großenbrode. This and the section on Fehmarn are to be expanded for 200 km / h. The existing single-track line should, except for one at Haffkrug branching branch line to Neustadt in Holstein , after their completion shut down be. As a result, numerous tourist resorts on the old route have lost their direct rail connections.

On January 15, 2015, a letter from the German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt to his Danish counterpart Magnus Heunicke was announced, according to which Deutsche Bahn expects “a delay of several years” for the completion of the hinterland connection on the German side.

In mid-September 2015, Deutsche Bahn completed the preliminary planning for the further approval process. The alignment of the approximately 84-kilometer-long route Lübeck - Puttgarden, which is largely to be newly built, differs from the spatial planning road. South of Ratekau, the route leaves the existing line in order from there to spatial analogy to Oldenburg in Holstein , which is bypassed to the east of Highway 1 to follow. From there, the existing line will be expanded, bypassing Großenbrode north along the B 207 .

On May 28, 2020, the German Bundestag published the report on the results of the preliminary planning and early public participation for the upgraded line / new line Hamburg – Lübeck – Puttgarden . The Federal Railway Authority therefore assumes that the preferred option will ensure that the principle of economic efficiency and thrift required by the granting law is respected. According to the report, the additional requirements raised by the project advisory board go beyond the statutory provisions and could not be taken into account in the preferred variant. Should these requirements be implemented in the course of the project implementation, this would lead to considerable additional costs, a reduction in the benefit-cost ratio and an extension of the construction period of up to seven years. By resolution of July 2, 2020, the German Bundestag called on the federal government to implement the preferred option as part of the requirements plan . The following measures should be taken into account - analogous to its resolution of January 28, 2016:

  • Financing of supra-legal acoustic and vibration protection measures
  • Alignment with
  • Relief of the municipalities from their participation in the costs of the station redesign.

Fehmarnsund Bridge

The Schleswig-Holstein state government announced the construction or expansion of a Fehmarnsund crossing for the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 , because it considered the Fehmarnsund Bridge to be a bottleneck in the German hinterland connection. The need for this was proven in December 2012 by an expert report by Deutsche Bahn. Accordingly, the existing Fehmarnsund Bridge in its current state can no longer absorb the higher loads after the opening of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link.

The plans for a new crossing of the Fehmarnsund have since been further specified. In addition to the bridge, an immersed tunnel with a four-lane road and a double-track railway line is to be built. The Fehmarnsund Bridge is to be preserved.

Danish hinterland connection

The groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the rail link inland on the Danish side took place on September 2, 2014. An additional track will be built between Rødbyhavn and Vordingborg and the Ringsted – Rødbyhavn railway line will be electrified. In addition, 18 old bridges are to be demolished and replaced by new ones and the stations on the section are to be modernized. A new Storstrøm bridge is being built. From 2020 trains should be able to travel at up to 200 kilometers per hour on this section.

The Danish Parliament decided on March 26, 2019 to start a series of major construction works in Denmark. Works for 5.8 billion crowns are picked.

Project opponents, public participation and lawsuits

Action alliance against a fixed Fehmarnbelt link

On the German side, an “action alliance against a fixed Fehmarnbelt crossing” has been set up and has announced lawsuits in the event of a building permit - which has not yet been granted on the German side (as of August 11, 2015). The project opponents have the following objections:

  • Danger to the environment : The alliance against the tunnel sees the marine ecology being impaired by dredging work, should it come to extensive plumes of sediment through the Baltic Sea
  • Endangerment of the Baltic coasts : clouding over, especially in the Fischland-Darß area
  • Average risks : Environmental disaster in the event of a possible collision of a fully loaded oil tanker with floating tunnel segments
  • Legal deficiencies : complaints from the action alliance and BUND to the EU Commission because they see nature conservation law violated.
  • Technical problems : The chairman of the action alliance sees these primarily in the areas of safety - for example fire protection - and ventilation.
  • Unrealistic traffic forecasts : The basis of the planning was the assumption that car traffic would increase significantly - especially due to tourism. Project opponents consider this assumption unlikely.

The expansion of the north-south transport connection, including the hinterland connections by rail and road, is not without controversy, especially among the population in the affected region of East Holstein. The planned expansion of the railway line between Lübeck and Puttgarden and the road between Heiligenhafen and Puttgarden leads through partly densely populated areas with a diverse tourist infrastructure.

Dialogue forum Fixed Fehmarn Belt Link

The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link Dialog Forum accompanies the entire Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link process, i.e. the planning and construction of the tunnel between Germany (Fehmarn) and Denmark, including the hinterland connections. It was convened as an independent forum in September 2011 on the initiative of the Schleswig-Holstein state government. It represents a new form of public participation and is intended to create the greatest possible transparency in the entire process. It decides for itself which topics to deal with, when and how. The forum brings together the “know-how” of problems and possible solutions. Representatives of those affected and those responsible come together at a kind of round table . Opponents and advocates of the crossing are represented: Citizens' initiatives, residents, communities, trade unions, nature conservationists, farmers, businesses and those responsible for planning and building tunnels, rails and roads. It is the central discussion and information platform for all aspects of the link.

The dialogue forum meets every two to three months. The meetings are public, broadcast live and posted on the Dialog Forum homepage. At the end of the session, the audience has the opportunity to ask questions and make statements. On the website you can find comprehensive information about the work of the dialogue forum and many aspects of the fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt and its hinterland connection. The speaker of the dialogue forum is Christoph Jessen .

2015 referendum on Fehmarn

In a referendum on March 8, 2015, 64.5 percent of Fehmarn's electorate voted for no development plan to be drawn up for a 15-hectare industrial area between Puttgarden and Marienuchter for planned storage space and services around the tunnel construction site in the next two years may be.

Ongoing lawsuits for breach of EU competition rules

The German shipping company TT-Line filed a lawsuit against the plans for a fixed link on the grounds that the unlimited state guarantees, government bonds and tax advantages for the Fehmarn connection were a violation of EU competition rules. This lawsuit supported the ongoing lawsuit by the German-Danish shipping company Scandlines , which was updated in June 2014 - also by Scandlines - and submitted to the EU.

The planned state funding for the planned Fehmarnbelt tunnel between Denmark and Germany was rejected as illegal on December 13, 2018 by the Court of the European Union and the financing model for the crossing was therefore canceled. Without an approved financing model, the project is de facto stopped. The court thus partially upheld the actions of the shipping companies Scandlines Danmark and Scandlines Deutschland as well as the Swedish Stena Line Scandinavia. The EU Commission was able to appeal the judgment to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg within two months.

In July 2015, the Commission had declared that it would not object to the state aid planned by Denmark for the state-owned Danish group Femern A / S for the planning, construction and operation of the almost 18 km long tunnel under the Baltic Sea. The EU Commission has therefore not opened a formal investigation procedure. In doing so, however, the private and public companies concerned - including Scandlines - were deprived of their right to comment in the formal investigation procedure. The three shipping companies decided to challenge the decision of the EU Commission before the General Court of the European Union in order to ensure that the Commission opens a formal investigation procedure and has to deal with and assess the case correctly. This was to ensure that the Commission's decision is reversed and that a position on the financing model can then be taken in a formal, transparent examination procedure.

The Green Bundestag member Konstantin von Notz commented on the verdict as the “final nail in the coffin ” for the project. The so-called state guarantee model, according to which the Danish state provides state security for the loans taken out to build the tunnel, is in principle compatible with EU regulations. The EU Commission made this declaration at the end of March 2020. The competition commissioner and left-liberal Danish politician Margrethe Vestager justified this with the fact that “the positive effects clearly outweigh potential distortions of competition”.


  • Shadows at the end of the tunnel . In: Association of German Shipowners (Ed.): Deutsche Seeschifffahrt . Issue 4/2011, 2011, ISSN  0948-9002 , p. 48-50 .
  • The belt crossing is making progress . In: Daily port report of November 16, 2012, special supplement , p. 1/2, Seehafen-Verlag, Hamburg 2012, ISSN  0933-0984
  • Rüdiger Block: mammoth project for a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt . Transcontinental closure of the gap. In: railway magazine . No. 1/2013 . Alba publication, January 2013, ISSN  0342-1902 , p. 26-31 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Battle of the Belt . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 23, 2019. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. 
  2. a b c Fehmarnbelt crossing: Danish parliament decides to build the Baltic Sea tunnel. In: Spiegel Online , April 28, 2015, accessed April 29, 2015.
  3. About us ( Memento from August 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ),, accessed on August 11, 2015
  4. a b The fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt: project profile. (PDF; 154 kB) Femern A / S, archived from the original on July 22, 2014 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  5. German slowness delays Fehmarnbelt tunnel.
  6. Wolfhart Fabarius: Contract conclusion postponed. In: Daily port report , May 13, 2016, p. 2
  7. "Figures, data, facts: The immersed tunnel". (PDF; 211 kB) Femern A / S, archived from the original on January 6, 2014 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  8. German-Danish giant project: Tunnel on the Fehmarnbelt is getting more expensive.
  9. Danish-German giant project: Citizens want to stop the Fehmarnbelt tunnel.
  10. Matthias Wyssuwa: Farewell to the Vogelfluglinie. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , December 15, 2019, accessed on December 15, 2019 .
  11. Growth on the Öresund Bridge beats all previous records ( Memento of April 16, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Web archive
  12. Traffic development on the Öresund Bridge ( Memento from April 16, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Web archive
  13. Traffic entanglement forecast 2030. (PDF; 823 kB) BMVI, archived from the original on August 8, 2014 ; accessed on August 1, 2014 .
  14. Fehmarn Belt Forecast 2002. (PDF; 823 kB) BMVBS, archived from the original on June 18, 2012 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  15. Scandlines continues to rely on the Vogelfluglinie · Ferry service between Puttgarden and Rdbyhavn should continue to run “green” despite the tunnel . In: Daily port report of October 30, 2019, special supplement No. 12, Schleswig-Holstein Harbor Day , p. 12
  16. ( Memento from June 20, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ( Memento from September 9, 2012 in the web archive )
  18. ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  19. Together for Germany. With courage and humanity. (PDF, 2.1 MB) coalition agreement between the CDU, CSU and SPD. CDU Germany, CSU state management, SPD Germany, November 11, 2005, p. 56 , archived from the original on November 25, 2011 ; accessed on March 19, 2015 : "We want to advance PPP and therefore advocate the implementation of the Fehmarn Belt Link as an international PPP reference project."
  20. FTD: Tiefensee duped Danes ( Memento from February 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  21. World: Bridge over Fehmarnbelt is to be built . June 29, 2007
  22. How high are the costs and who pays? Femern A / S, archived from the original on June 24, 2012 ; accessed on May 31, 2013 .
  23. Consolidated cost estimate for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link - August 2011. Femern A / S, archived from the original on May 4, 2013 ; accessed on May 31, 2013 .
  24. ^ Fehmarn Belt Tunnel: Less EU funding for Denmark., June 30, 2015, accessed June 30, 2015
  25. Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: Germany is faithful to the treaty : In: Daily port report of March 17, 2015, p. 2
  26. Rail connection of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link. (PDF) In: Information sheet. DB Netz AG, November 2015, archived from the original on August 16, 2016 ; accessed on August 16, 2016 .
  27. Information brochures. In: Retrieved on March 16, 2018 ( fact sheet of the fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt (1.1 MB) ).
  28. Morten Søndergaard, Jost Lüking: Managing Banedanmark's signaling program . In: Railway Gazette International . tape 168 , no. 3 , 2012, ISSN  0373-5346 , p. 41-44 .
  29. Important milestones of the project. Femern A / S, archived from the original on May 4, 2013 ; accessed on May 31, 2013 .
  30. The technical preferred solution for the EIA procedure - recommendation by Femern A / S. Femern A / S, archived from the original on May 4, 2013 ; accessed on May 31, 2013 .
  31. NABU Schleswig-Holstein website , accessed on August 25, 2019
  32. Femern AS website , accessed on August 25, 2019
  33. ^ Matthias Hainich: The Fehmarnbelt project - a piece of the way to Europe . In: The Federal Railroad . Vol. 65, No. 6 , 1989, ISSN  0007-5876 , pp. 472-474 .
  34. Special report on the spatial planning procedure, acoustic examination, Section 3 - Status of work August 2012. (PDF), July 2, 2007, archived from the original on May 2, 2016 ; Retrieved February 2, 2012 .
  35. ^ Sven-Michael Veit: Turbo law for Fehmarn . In: The daily newspaper: taz . November 30, 2018, ISSN  0931-9085 , p. 25 ePaper 21 North ( [accessed November 30, 2018]).
  36. Sven-Michael Veit: Prevented at the last minute: No special rights for the Danish tunnel . In: The daily newspaper: taz . November 7, 2018, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed November 30, 2018]).
  37. a b c The State Treaty on the Fixed Link across the Fehmarnbelt. Femern A / S, archived from the original on March 5, 2013 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  38. Federal Law Gazette 2009 II p. 799
  39. Contract between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Denmark on a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt ( Memento of June 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). (PDF; 70 kB)
  40. Political backing for the immersed tunnel under the Fehmarnbelt. Femern A / S, archived from the original on May 1, 2013 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  41. Tendering process started . In: Fehmarnsches Tagesblatt dated August 28, 2013, volume 158, no.200
  42. 10,000 pages for planning the Fehmarnbelt tunnel. Hamburger Abendblatt, accessed on October 16, 2014 .
  43. ↑ Heralded the next planning stage. Fehmarnsches Tageblatt, accessed on October 16, 2014 .
  44. Plan approval procedure. (PDF) LBV Schleswig-Holstein, accessed on October 16, 2014 .
  45. ↑ The objection period for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel in Germany is coming to an end. Femern A / S, archived from the original on October 20, 2014 ; accessed on October 16, 2014 .
  46. Planning documents are available. State portal Schleswig-Holstein, accessed on June 30, 2019 .
  48. a b The schedule until commissioning. (PDF) Deutsche Bahn, archived from the original on August 8, 2016 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  49. Answer of the Federal Government to the minor question of the members of parliament Uwe Beckmeyer, Sören Bartol, Bernhard Brinkmann (Hildesheim), other members of the parliament and the parliamentary group of the SPD - printed matter 17/7081. (PDF) German Bundestag, p. 5 , accessed on May 30, 2013 .
  50. Results of the review of the requirement plans for the federal railways and the federal highways. (PDF) BMVBS, p. 32 , archived from the original on November 21, 2010 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  51. German Bundestag (ed.): Briefing by the Federal Government Report on the project progress in expanding the cross-border rail axis . Printed matter 18/357 of January 22, 2014, p. 2
  52. Vogelfluglinie. Retrieved February 9, 2018 .
  53. ^ The Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein (ed.): Fehmarnbeltquerung: Relief for the bathing places . Kiel May 6, 2014 ( [accessed on May 6, 2014] information on the conclusion of the regional planning procedure). ( Memento from May 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  54. The Prime Minister of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, State Chancellery [State Planning Authority] (ed.): Completion of the regional planning process - State planning assessment - Expansion of the rail connection of the fixed Fehmarnbelt link . Kiel May 6, 2014 ( [PDF; 7.1 MB ; accessed on May 7, 2014]). ( Memento from May 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  55. Rail connection of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link: Roadshow starts. DB Mobility Logistics AG (press release with maps of the pre-planning route), September 14, 2015, archived from the original on September 19, 2015 ; Retrieved September 19, 2015 .
  56. Curd Tönnemann: Dobrindt admits: Belt rail comes years late . In: Lübecker Nachrichten . January 15, 2015, p. 1 .
  57. BT-Drs. 19/19500
  58. Minutes of the plenary session 18/152. German Bundestag, January 28, 2016, accessed on July 3, 2020 .
  59. BT-Drs. 19/20624
  60. Fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt - Will the Fehmarnsund Bridge become the eye of a needle? Ministry of Economy, Labor, Transport and Technology Schleswig-Holstein, archived from the original on July 22, 2014 ; Retrieved May 30, 2013 .
  61. Beltquerung: The Danes get started. Lübecker Nachrichten, accessed on October 16, 2014 .
  62. Femern A / S is initiating further construction work for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel. Femern A / S, accessed April 2, 2019 .
  63. Folketinget sætter gang i Femern byggeri, kun på danske side. Ingeniøren, accessed April 2, 2019 .
  65. Citizens' decision Fehmarn's citizens can vote on the industrial park , Hamburger Abendblatt dated November 17, 2014, accessed on August 14, 2015
  66. Insel-Wahl 2015 - Fehmarn: Citizens' decision against industrial park on the Belt , Ostholsteiner-Anzeiger from March 9, 2015, accessed on August 14, 2015
  67. Elections. Citizens' decision against the construction committee's decision on June 10, 2014 for a temporary special area between Puttgarden and Marienuchter , City of Fehmarn , accessed on August 14, 2015
  68. Hamburg TT-Line versus fixed Fehmarn Belt crossing , Die Welt of March 6, 2000, accessed on August 12, 2015
  69. Laurits Harmer Lassen: Tysk rederi klager over Femern-forbindelsen. Berlingske Media, November 29, 2014, accessed December 1, 2014 (Danish).
  70. ^ The court cancels the financing model for the Fehmarnbelt project . In: DVZ Redaktion , Deutsche Verkehrszeitung, December 13, 2018. Archived from the original on December 13, 2018. 
  71. Hamburg - Fehmarnbelt tunnel: EU court rejects state aid . In: Die WELT Online , Die WELT Online, December 13, 2018. Archived from the original on December 13, 2018. 
  72. Sven-Michael Veit on the end of the Fehmarnbelt crossing: The absurdity in the Baltic Sea is dead . In: Die Tageszeitung ,, December 14, 2018. Archived from the original on January 13, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2019. 
  73. European Court of Justice - Despite judgment: Company wants to build Fehmarnbelt tunnel , Hamburger Abendblatt. December 18, 2018. 
  74. Alexander Preker: Dispute over Fehmarn Belt Tunnel: Billions under the Sea , Der SPIEGEL. May 26, 2020. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020. 

Coordinates: 54 ° 35 '  N , 11 ° 18'  E