What do we want to use this “tube” for?

Claus Klitholm of Deloitte Consulting and former Senior Vice President at DSB, and former Director of franchises and contracts for the Danish Transport Authority, was guest speaker. Referring to the upcoming tunnel under the Fehmarn Belt, he asked the Partners of Green STRING Corridor the very pivotal question: What do we want to use this "tube" for? 


This seems rather an unusual question at a point when Femern A/S has just sent the major tender of the electrical and mechanical systems and equipment for the future 18 km tunnel under the Fehmarnbelt. The "tube", or tunnel, is definitely becoming increasingly concrete.


But the question is none the less imperative for the actual use of the tunnel. Do we want to use the "tube" for increased freight transport? Or for high speed trains connecting the metropolises of Hamburg and Copenhagen? Or do we want to supply regular regional transport in Slesvig-Holstein and Zealand, respectively.
The answer may indeed be a bit of everything but which mix is preferable? And the wishes we have for the use of the tunnel have very tangible implications for a future tri-national rail service.  As proposed in a Green STRING Corridor organized seminar in September 2013 : 2015 is the deadline for planning needed for a successful cooperation and design of a cross border train service.


Claus Klitholm saw various shades of deregulation and market orientation on a spectrum from state owned and run operation over subsidized operation with a separation of railway lines and tracks from rolling stock and service and a totally free and deregulated market. Denmark is somewhere in the middle of a detachment process where Sweden is further yet in the orientation towards deregulation and a free market with open access. So one thing to work hard for is market maturation and open competition. This means having an open discussion with free access to information and knowledge about the complex process; examples are EU directives and regulations. Another example is safety. Klitholm explained:


"To create true open access to the market you have to take concrete and specific actions to many issues. For example, security requirements. A safety approval of new rolling stock can take at least two years. So make sure that all imaginable obstacles are out of the way for a competitive and open market. In my opinion, a deadline for a plan for cross boarder services from Sweden to Denmark to Germany is 2015 at the very latest,
and that might be pushing it. We have to set the ball in motion very soon and the Green STRING Corridor project has helped cast light on this important deadline."


By Anine Asklund




Partner Meeting:

Thursday the 12th of December 20013 the partners of the Green STRING Corridor had invited the partners of the project to hear about the progress of the past year and plans for the coming year. The partners of the project were represented by 20 participants from the partner organizations (see all partners here).