• Train ferry from Denmark to Germany

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Arborwayfan
Does anyone know if the trains still go onto the ferry at Rødby? I can't tell from the Danish or German rail websites, and all the news or video I can find is at least a couple of years old. I have also written to both railroad authorities.
  by george matthews
I have used this ferry several times in the past. It is quite a pleasant way of travel, at least in the Summer. One can have a decent meal in the restaurant of the boat.

As the route is direct to Copenhagen I would be surprised if it would be eliminated without replacing with a bridge or tunnel. The land connection via Flensborg and Odense is quite a bit longer. I have travelled that way also.

See also these notes.
https://www.directferries.co.uk/rodby_p ... gLqg_D_BwE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by CarterB
I have ridden the Vogelfluglinie many times. Always a delightful trip Hamburg to Copenhagen. It will, however be replaced.

Ferry link
The core of the connection is the 19-kilometre (12 mi) ferry link between Rødby (Denmark) and Puttgarden (Germany). The line is operated by Scandlines. Ferries take 45 minutes and operate twice an hour, 24 hours a day. The ships act as car and train ferry simultaneously.

The projected Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, an undersea tunnel, will eventually replace the ferries. Danish-German negotiations on June 29, 2007 culminated in an agreement to complete the link by 2021, essentially on the basis of Danish funding.
  by johnthefireman
I aso used this service maybe ten or fifteen years ago. I concur that it was a pleasant experience.
  by ExCon90
I was always impressed by the precision with which the ferry operations were scheduled. The southbound schedule was 10 minutes longer than the northbound because the northbound boat headed out at Puttgarden and in at Roedby, while southbound it had to back out of Roedby and back in at Puttgarden. Now that's attention to detail ...
  by kato
Arborwayfan wrote:Does anyone know if the trains still go onto the ferry at Rødby?
Trains do still take the ferry between calling at Puttgarden at platform 3 and Rødby at platform 20, however as a quite odd situation right now (from today to early June) the trains from Hamburg take the ferry ... and then terminate in Rødby!

And what's even more odd about that "shuttling the train over there" situation is that - on the ferry you have to leave the train anyway for security reasons. So basically right now you apparently ride onboard on the train, disembark and go to the passenger areas of the ferry while the ferry crosses the belt - then embark the train again and ride in the train for about 300m (!) until you've arrived at your destination in Rødby Færge, platform 20. Should I mention that when disembarking you have to walk about half that length back towards the ferry to exit the station?

You have to take a bus from there via Nykøbing to Orehoved - 90 minutes - where you can transfer to a regional train taking another 2 hours to København. Apparently according to DSB there are also direct busses from Rødby to København, but DB always sends you to that regional train instead as the fastest connection. :wink:

Apparently these replacement busses are due to some construction works by DSB on Falster, though i'm not quite sure which ones and for what purpose - if i get their linking right (my Danish is worth about zero, and their English is about as good as my French) it may - or may not - be connected to the upgrade of the route to double-track electrified with new signalling before 2021 in preparation for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel.

And to top that, DB claims there's no construction works along the route right now. There aren't of course. Because IC75 terminates in Rødby until June according to its schedule - not København :-D
  by BostonUrbEx
I highly recommend the trip — my wife and I made the trip from Hamburg to København in autumn 2015. I was fascinated at how seamless it was to get the train loaded onto the ferry. I figured we'd have to get off the train first and walk onto the ferry, but next thing I knew, we were just coasting right on in! The ferry seemed like a shopping mall with a few stores and, if I remember right, there was even a food court or cafeteria. When we pulled off the ferry, Danish officials held up the train for a while and were counting Syrian refugees and asking them questions. I'm not sure if that is still the case today, but at the time the flow of refugees was pretty heavy.
  by ExCon90
One time at Puttgarden I was standing on deck at the stern looking down at the slip and wondering why nothing was happening. Then an announcement came that there were two more autos coming, and in a few minutes they showed up and drove on board. I was amazed at how quickly they got everything buttoned up and secured. I should have timed it, but I'm sure it was less than a minute from the time the stern hatch was lowered, the lines were cast off, and we were moving.
  by Arborwayfan
Ferry from Rødby Færge to Puttgarden, March 26, 2018. One Danske Statsbaner flexliner was running Rødby-Hamburg; because of trackwork to the north DSB was running buses from Copenhagen Central Station. I wasn't sure we were going to get to ride the train onto the ferry or not: the person who answered email for DB thought yes. The person who answered for DSB (Denmark) thought no. The clerk who sold me the ticket in Copenhagen thought yes. The bus driver sent everyone into the station (at left across the tracks in the first picture) to walk up and across the boarding bridge onto the ferry. Most people headed off that way; we were last off the bus and I was looking at the Flexliner on the platform and wondering why it was there if we had come by bus. Then a man in a conductor's uniform started blowing a whistle and waving, and calling out "Zug nach Hamburg. Toge til Hamburg. Train to Hamburg." Since he had a train with him, we believed him, and got on.

The ferry is indeed a floating mall, with very little deck space to watch the view from and not much free seating inside either. But we found the lovely restaurant in the stern and had a great breakfast.

The train and the ferry terminal:
On the car deck:
The same kind of ferry headed the other direction.
  by ALR997
Hi together,

By chance I saw this topic and I just wanted to add, that you should hurry, if you want to use the Fehmarn-Rødby-ferry one last time. In 2019 the crossing is more or less safe, 2020 has a smaller question mark but I am quite sure, that the very last chance for the train-on-ferry crossing is december 2021.

Scandlines spends a lot of time and money for keeping the railway-bridges to the ferry usable. But by reconstruction of bridges in Denmark and Germany probably it will be not possible to use the ferry for several months in 2020. It is unclear if Scandlines maybe just shut down everything when this happens. From this point it is only possible to get to Købnhavn by Great-Belt-line until the Femernbælt-Tunnel is finished.

The real closing date of the "Trajektierung" (shipping the train to Denmark) depends on the progress of the construction works. I will inform you if I know more details, but just for your information I wanted to tell you this.

Best regards
  by rhallock
I used this line between Hamburg and Copenhagen twice recently. Last year, the train rode on the ferry, although passengers had to be off the train while on the ferry. This year in late April, I rode a train from Copenhagen south to Orehoved, just south of a long bridge. We had to get on a bus to Rodby. It was a lengthy walk to the ferry and would be a real problem for an elderly person. At Puttgarden it was a shorter walk to the train station, but we had a lengthy wait for a connecting train, probably about 3/4 hour. The rail line in Denmark had been diesel powered, but perhaps the reason for bustitution was to electrify the line to the ferry. There is an alternate route to Hamburg via Fredericia, but it involves several changes in trains, except for an overnight sleeper.
  by trainviews
Electrification, double tracking, straightening of curves, speed upgrade to 200 km/h and replacement of the movable bridge over the narrow straight of Guldborgsund. Everything is done in preparation of the coming tunnel between Rødby and Puttgarden, which will not only cut more than an hour out of the Copenhagen-Hamburg journey, but also serve as the major freight link between Scandinavia and the continent with 2 freight slots per hour per direction.
The long bridge before Orehoved (Storstrøms bridge, opened ca. 1936) is also up for replacement, as structural deficiencies have been found rendering it unusable for the coming freight traffic. Work starts in 2020 I believe and the rail line north of it is also partly closed down due to electrification, new ERTMS signal system and speed upgrades including some curve straigthening.
The Femern Belt Tunnel itself is slowly making its way through the elaborate court challenges that the German environmental assessment process opens up for. No decisive blocks have been encountered though, just delays, and I think the latest estimated opening date I've heard is 2028.
  by trainviews
... and the last train has left the dock...
Yesterday marked the end of 147 years of running passenger trains on board ferries in Denmark, as the Femern connection to Germany closed down. In the next 9 years or so of construction af the new tunnel and upgrading/part new construction of connecting rail lines in both Denmark and Germany, trains from Copenhagen to Hamburg will run via the Great Belt Bridge and Jutland. The travel time is about the same, but it sure is nostalgic...