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Old Posted Yesterday, 9:12 PM
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The Tunnel Project That Could Reshape the European Map

The Tunnel Project That Could Reshape the European Map


March 25th, 2015

By FEARGUS O'SULLIVAN

Read More: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/...an-map/388652/

Quote:
.....

It was in 1995 that Denmark first anchored itself to the rest of Scandinavia when it linked up to Sweden via the Øresund Bridge. Now the country is about to embark on yet another massive, geographically transformative engineering project: a tunnel beneath the Baltic Sea that will connect Denmark to Germany between the islands of Lolland and Fehmarn.

- If completed, the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link would be the longest immersed tunnel in the world, its 11-mile submerged section breaking down the sea barrier that separates most of Scandinavia (bar Jutland) from the rest of Europe. Long in the planning, the bill finally giving the project the green light passed its first reading in the Danish Parliament this month. Construction could begin as soon as this year and be completed by 2024.

- The project matters because it could reshape the European map. Denmark and Southern Sweden will come closer to Europe’s heartland as the tunnel slashes the detours or dawdling currently necessary to travel through the Danish archipelago. Currently, traffic slows from a gallop to a canter when passing through these parts. --- To reach Hamburg from Copenhagen/Malmö by train, for example, you have to take a 100-mile detour west via Jutland. By road, you need to take a 45-minute ferry and factor in loading and wait time on the quayside. To reach Berlin by road takes an absolute minimum of 6 hours, not great for a distance of 250 miles.

- With this tunnel, the crossing under the Fehmarn Belt would take just 7 minutes, theoretically slashing the rail travel time from Copenhagen to Hamburg from just under 5 hours to little more than 2 hours. This isn’t just good news for Denmark but for the Swedes, Norwegians and Finns who use the country as a bridge to Western Europe. --- The tunnel’s construction plan is also pretty striking, even in the post-Channel Tunnel era.

- All this is projected to cost $10 billion, one reason why not everyone is completely sold on the idea. Danish reservations haven’t been strong enough to hold the project back, but in Germany resistance is a little stronger. Beyond its contribution to the tunnel, the country will have to overhaul railways lines running along what is now a quiet little branch line. It also stands to lose some jobs in ferry transport and possibly tourism—visitors may well be tempted to forego a stop at German beach towns in favor of going straight on to quieter, often prettier Denmark.

- There does exist an alternative scheme for crossing the Western Baltic—a bridge or tunnel that would link the Danish island of Falster with the city of Rostock. But so far, this plan has lost out to the Fehmarn option, whose future success will ultimately determine its perceived viability. It seems unlikely that Denmark would plan two major connections across the same stretch of water—but then Scandinavian engineering seems to have developed a taste for managing the improbable.

.....








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Old Posted Yesterday, 11:15 PM
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Amazing
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Old Posted Today, 12:37 AM
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That is quite amibitious--and it would definitely bring Scandinavia closer to the heart of Western Europe.
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Old Posted Today, 12:47 PM
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There could be Eurostar connections added as well.
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Old Posted Today, 6:16 PM
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When I was there in 2005, I took the train from Hamburg to Copenhagen without going all the way west to Jutland. The train was slower and shorter in length and actually rode on the ferry at Puttgarden. As I recall, it took about 4-5 hours total.

Ambitious project.
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