Status of plans

Copenhagen, 4 June 1863: German engineer Gustav Kröhnke submits a comprehensive plan to the Danish government for a railway line running from Hamburg to Copenhagen via Fehmarn. However, initial euphoria is soon banished by the Second Schleswig War. Kröhnke's plan disappears into the Copenhagen maritime archives.

A link across the Fehmarn Belt has been a mesmerising prospect since the middle of the 19th century. Only 19 km in length, this route is the shortest connection between central and northern Europe across the Baltic Sea. Called the "Birds' Flight Line" in German, it has been a traditional trade route between Germany and Denmark for centuries.

Working for the Danish government, two German construction companies presented new proposals for a link across the belt in 1989. One featured a bridge, while the other one was based on a tunnel. Further planning work showed that a tunnel across the strait was a better solution in terms of construction, shipping lanes and the long-term environmental impact in the surrounding region.

In September 2008, the Kingdom of Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany agreed the joint construction of a fixed link across the Fehmarn Belt. Denmark will build an immersed tunnel under the Baltic and the link on the Danish side. Germany has undertaken to provide an efficient road and rail link on its side.

2008
Government agreement signed between Germany and Denmark

2009
Start of preliminary planning regarding hinterland rail connection, work finishes in February 2010

2010
Application for the regional planning procedure

2012
Preliminary studies for the regional planning procedure finish, report produced

2013
Official start of the regional planning procedure
Regional planning documents go on public display, people have the opportunity to find out about the project and submit statements

2014
End of the regional planning procedure
Start of the scoping procedure

2015
Start of the ground survey as a basis for the design planning process and a component of the planning permission documents
Start of the detailed environmental study based on the scoping documents

2016
Start of scientific research into the porpoise population in the Fehmarn Sound (between the island and the German mainland) and initial planning of preventative measures
Start of archaeological digs along the planned railway track route
Measurements taken of the existing Fehmarn Sound bridge for further planning activities

2017
Probably in autumn 2017: start of the submission process for planning permission documents concerning the individual sections of the route

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