Fehmarnbelt segment casting picks up speed in Denmark
Construction commenced three years ago on one of Europe’s significant infrastructure ventures, the Fehmarnbelt tunnel, poised to create a direct route between Germany and Denmark. To date, 19 tunnel segments have been cast.
Projected for inauguration in 2029, the Fehmarnbelt tunnel initiative seeks to expedite travel between Hamburg and Copenhagen, eliminating the need for ferries. Presently, the swiftest route connecting the two cities entails navigating through Puttgarden and Rødby, two minor ports connected by a one-hour ferry crossing.
Upon the completion of the tunnel and the accompanying railway lines in Germany and Denmark, the travel duration between Hamburg and Copenhagen will be slashed to 2 hours and 30 minutes, marking a two-hour decrease from the existing 4.5-hour train journey. Traverse through the Fehmarnbelt tunnel itself is anticipated to take only seven minutes by train and ten minutes by car.
Building blocks for the Femern Belt tunnel are being cast at the Femern construction site in Rødbyhavn, in Lolland, Denmark. A tunnel segment is 217 metres long and is cast in nine segments. Since casting began six months ago, 19 segments have been cast, and two of the tunnel elements are “already so large that they protrude from the factory,” explains Morten Kramer Nielsen, head of Communications at Femern, the company tasked with the planning, building and operating the fixed link between Denmark and Germany across the Fehmarnbelt.
“When we cast the first tunnel segment in July last year, it was the culmination of several months of preparation. It took four months from assembling the first reinforcement cage to pushing the finished segment into the drying hall,” adds Nielsen. The goal is now to produce a finished tunnel segment every 10 to 14 days when the factory is operating at its highest capacity.
“However, speed must not come at the expense of quality, so we are gradually scaling up to ensure that both the technology and our skilled concrete workers can keep pace,” he continues, “Right now, the seventh segment of our first tunnel element is on its way to the moulds, and we, therefore, expect to have the first finished tunnel element ready by spring.”