German Bundestag gives go-ahead for train speed of 200 km/h for Fehmarnbelt Link
27-10-2016Infrastructure
German Bundestag’s Finance Committee gave the green light for the establishment of high-speed railway line between Bad Schwartau and the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel. The project received additional funding of 109 million €, funded entirely by the Federal Government.

The Danish Parliament decided to spend an additional 671 million kroner a few years ago, thereby bringing the train speed on the line between Copenhagen and Rødby up to 200 km/h. Now Deutsche Bahn has also come on board for higher speeds.

The German Bundestag's Finance Committee has decided to upgrade the rail line from Bad Schwartau to the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel in Puttgarden, enabling rail speed of up to 200 km/h. The additional cost is approximately 109 million. € (around 800 million Danish Crowns), a cost that is entirely funded on a Federal level.

The travel time between Copenhagen and Hamburg will therefore be shorten from 4 to only 2.5 hours.

So far, on the German side of the Fehmarnbelt it was assumed - as stated in the State Treaty between Germany and Denmark - that Germany would raise the speed from the current 140 to 160 km/h, when the 88 km of railway line would be prepared for the Tunnel. Approximately 55 km will be a completely new line.

The 160 km/h is the maximum speed if road and rail should cross at level crossings. With the extra funding, it is now possible to build tunnels and bridges to the required level for both road and rail. Although passenger trains will run between Copenhagen and Hamburg by up to 200 km/h, freight trains will still only reach 120 km/h.

The municipalities not located directly on the new route have a reason to celebrate. They no longer have to fund a third of the railway intersections, as they would have been required to, had the originally planned speed limit of 160 km/h remained, according to Bundestag Member and member of the Finance Committee, Bettina Hagedorn, SPD. Bettina Hagedorn is an opponent of the Fixed Fehmarn Connection.

- The additional cost of over 100 million € will be paid by the Federal Government, said the Member of the Bundestag from Ostholstein.

- We have successfully averted further strain on the municipal funds, she stressed.

The Bundestag will treat the Construction Act in November.

Sources: Lübecker Nachrichten, beltoffen.de, People's Journal, Press Release Hagedorn