Denmark and Germany will be linked by an 18-kilometre-long underwater tunnel by 2029. The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will be the longest combined rail and road tunnel anywhere in the world. The €10 billion project, which crosses a stretch of the Baltic Sea, will connect Rødbyhavn on the Danish island of Lolland and Puttgarden in northern Germany.
The tunnel, officially called the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, will have two double-lane motorways and two electrified rail tracks. The journey through it will take seven minutes by train and 10 minutes by car, avoiding a 160-kilometre detour across the Danish mainland. Rail travel times from Hamburg, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark will be cut from around five hours to less than three. A road link will replace a busy ferry service that carries millions of passengers a year, reducing commutation time by almost an hour.
The tunnel will be put together 40 metres below the Baltic Sea using 89 massive concrete sections. These sections will be pre-built on land and then lowered into the water. The state-owned Danish company in charge of the project hopes to immerse the first of these sections by 2024. Once in place, the concrete sections will be fitted together, and other elements such as railway tracks, ventilation and cameras will be installed.