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Monday 1 July 2024

High-tech undersea tunnel to link Germany and Denmark

As someone who lives in Tasmania, where progress in building infrastructure is glacial, at best, I was stunned by news this week from Germany and Denmark.

Work began last month on the first tunnel element of the new Fehmarnbelt Tunnel between Denmark and Germany, which, once completed, will be the world's longest underwater road and rail tunnel.

The 18km tunnel between southern Denmark and northern Germany will slash travel times between the two nations, replacing a 45-minute ferry ride across the Baltic Sea with a seven-minute train ride or 10-minute car journey.

But here is the kicker: The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel is expected to open in 2029. That's just five years. Where I live it takes longer than that to complete a couple of kilometres of above-ground urban bypass.

The tunnel will be a major connection between central Europe and Scandinavia and the electrified high-speed rail line will support speeds of 200 km/h.

It will shorten the rail journey from Hamburg to Copenhagen from the current four hours and 40 minutes to two hours and 30 minutes.

The underwater link will be built across the Fehmarn Belt, a Baltic Sea strait between the German island of Fehmarn and the Danish island of Lolland.

It will be financed by state-guaranteed loans, which will be paid by road and train tolls.

Image: Fermen A/S 

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