Monday, January 11, 2016

Puttgarden Rodby Ferry Train connection, 4th Leg

As promised while writing about the train ride from Hamburg to Denmark, I wish to share a little bit more about a special train route connection between German and Denmark vide country border crossing through the Baltic Sea or in German it is called Ostsee (see below map). Puttgarden is the seaport located in Germany whilst Rodby is in Denmark. The 2 country has worked together for a smooth train connection whereby the train car is on-load into the ferry belly and cruise for about 45 minutes in a total distance of 19km. It was one the priceless first experience that I have encounter since having the train adventure since 2014. I now could imagine how would it be to cross Lake Van in Turkey for future ride to connect Eastern Europe (Istanbul, where the last route of 2nd leg started) and Central Asia with my home country. Such big dream that I have ya!

From my research, there's a project called Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, an undersea tunnel that will eventually replace the Puttgarden Rodby ferries. Both country, Danish-German commenced negotiations on 29th June 2007. An agreement has been reached between 2 parties to complete the link or rather the project, initially by 2021 but now has been pushed to 2014. The construction begin last year, 2015. The 2 country recognised that the corridor is also an important bird migration route between arctic Scandinavia and Central Europe.

Everyone were excited once we able to see a Baltic Sea from the train

The train is getting ready to enter the ferry

The road connection consists of the following routes:-

  • European route E47 on the Danish side;
  • Autobahn A1 (European routes E 47 and E22) on the German side; and
  • 2 lane Bundesstrabe 207/E 47 on the northernmost section. 
Whereas, the rail connection consists of the following routes:-

  • 118 km of double track from Copenhagen to Vordingborg; maximum speed 160 to 180 km/h (99 to 112 mph); electrified for 64 km (40 mi) to Ringsted;
  • 65 km of single track from Vordingborg to Rødby; maximum speed 120 km/h (75 mph);
  • 89 km of single track from Puttgarden to Lubeck
  • 64 km of double track from Lubeck to Hamburg, electrified.
Lat look at the Puttgarden port

Photo evidence of me and the Puttgarden

It was anticipated that the passenger services between Copenhagen and Hamburg taking Euro Citys in each direction, operated with DBAG Class 605 trains of Deutsche Bahn and Danish IC3 trains will solely use the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link. Once the Great Belt Bridge is completed, the freight trains are not directed via Rodby-Puttgarden any more, but via Funen and Jutland which is 160 km longer.

The train that we rode continued its journey from Rodby harbour

Welcome to Denmark

In fact, proposals for a more direct "bird flight line" date back from the 1920's. Construction was started on the Danish side in 1941 after the Nazi occupation force pushed the matter, but work was halted again in 1946. After World War II, Warnemunde (near Rostock) was included in the territory of East Germany. Political divisions made traffic between Denmark and West Germany via Warnemunde inconvenient. From 1951 to 1963 a ferry line from Gedser to Großenbrode operated as a temporary solution. In addition, traffic between Copenhagen and Hamburg would either be directed over the Great Belt ferry, Funen and Jutland or the Gedser-Warnemunde ferry.

Posing with Puttgarden as background before ferry was preparing to depart

The train parked safely inside the ferry

One of the bridges sighted from the train on Danish side 

As for me, I felt lucky that I was able to cross Puttgarden-Rodby where the body of the train and I were both in the Scandlines ferry. Should I come in 2024, I would be travelling on the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link obviously. 
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