Scandinavia Meets Central Europe via Record-Breaking Tunnel Burrowing Under the Baltic Sea

By: | June 30th, 2024

Image by Femern A/S

Connecting Europe Underwater: The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel

A marvel of engineering is underway in Europe! An impressive underwater road and rail tunnel is currently being built to connect Germany and Denmark. Known as the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, it will span an 11.2-mile (approximately 18-kilometer) section of the Baltic Sea.

The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, also known as the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, is under development by Femern A/S in collaboration with Rambøll, Arup, and TEC. According to the project team, it will be the world’s longest immersed tunnel—constructed elsewhere and then submerged into place—and the deepest immersed tunnel to accommodate both road and rail traffic.

Revolutionizing Travel: Features of the Tunnel

Imagine zipping under the sea on a train or driving through an underwater highway! The tunnel will feature two double-lane motorways separated by a service passage, along with dedicated electrified railway tracks. This innovative design promises to slash travel times between Scandinavia and Central Europe to potentially under ten minutes.

Promoting Sustainability: Green Initiatives

The project boasts not just speed benefits but also aims to be a boon for green initiatives. By promoting rail travel and potentially reducing reliance on ferries and airplanes, the tunnel could contribute to a more sustainable transportation network. However, some environmental concerns have been raised. Conservationists are keeping a watchful eye to ensure the project adheres to its eco-friendly promises.

Construction of the first section began in June 2024, and completion is expected by the end of the decade. Once finished, the tunnel will operate 24 hours a day, year-round, unaffected by wind or weather conditions. Modern electric trains will achieve speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour. 

“The Fehmarnbelt tunnel will be just as safe to use as equivalent routes on land. It includes an emergency lane and emergency exits along the entire length,” the website noted. 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

More articles from Industry Tap...