When does the train for Hamburg leave?
Various visions for the railway service between Scania and Hamburg have been presented. But Green STRING Corridor decided to study what is actually possible in the real world. It turns out from Hamburg you can reach Copenhagen airport in 2 hours 40 minutes and Malmö in 3 hours flat.

A new Öresund Region


A new geography will emerge in 2021 making the Hamburg /Schleswig-Holstein area much more accessible for one-day business travel as well as leisure. Going to a meeting in the morning and being back in the late afternoon will be the new standard. New opportunities for business connections will emerge in the region and easy accessibility plays a major role for certain industries. Which industries that will benefit from these opportunities will be highlighted in the Green STRING Corridor project?


"None of the  studies of the railway service across the Fehmarn Belt have taken in to account, how the already agreed service level for freight trains of two freight trains per hour in each direction in the future Fehmarn corridor, will affect the potential service level for passenger trains. So we decided to find out what this means for the rail infrastructure of the future Fehmarn region", says Workpackage leader Sten Hansen.


The study was carried out by a major Swedish consultant company Vectura AB, who previously has done studies in the corridor. This study is the first covering all 3 countries. Vectura examined two different service alternatives: An interregional service, serving all the major cities in the corridor from Hamburg to Copenhagen and an ICE express train serving Hamburg, Lübeck, Copenhagen, Copenhagen Airport and further on to Malmö. This is similar to the direct service Hamburg/Berlin or the so-called "Lyntog" in Denmark. The interregional service is similar to the current "Öresundståg" between Copenhagen and the Southern Sweden.


Vectura analysed the different service alternatives in combination with 3 alternatives for the infrastructure, when the fixed link across Fehmarn is completed in 2021.


Going by plane or train would get you to Hamburg at the same time


In the best alternative, based on double track in the whole corridor and a new bridge across the Storeström, the travel time between Hamburg and Copenhagen would be 3:05h for the interregional service calling at all major cities and 2:15h for an ICE express service. This means Copenhagen airport can be reached in 2:40h from Hamburg and Malmö within 3 hours.


For the airport this means an increased catchment area for potential customers, for the citizens and business-life of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein it means improved global accessibility having one more airport to choose for overseas flights. The cities in the corridor between Hamburg and Copenhagen/Malmö will experience a dramatic increase in accessibility. Suddenly they will be connected not just to one, but to two large metropolitan areas within few hours of travel, both by road and by rail.


Will a new railway service make business travel more "green", though?


Will the new railway possibilities promote integration between air and rail within the region?  "This will depend on the quality of the rail service. Up till now nothing has been published by any authority in Denmark or Germany about future travel times or how the trains will run. In addition, we are still waiting for the last major decisions regarding the quality level of the new infrastructure. In the German-Danish Treaty not much is said about passenger transport. More or less, it is seen as a rail freight corridor", Sten Hansen replies.


Click here to see the full report


By Anine Asklund and Sten Hansen