INTRO: Construction of the fixed road and rail link across the Baltic between Denmark and Sweden is well on course for opening in 2000.Chris Jackson took a look at progress

TRACKLAYING is getting under way on the Danish approaches to the Øresund fixed link, which is due to provide road and rail connections between Denmark and Sweden from 2000. Construction work is pushing ahead on all aspects of the international project, but the Danish landworks are furthest advanced because of the plan to extend DSB regional and inter-city services to Kastrup airport with the June 1998 timetable change.

Finally authorised in June 1994, the Øresund link comprises three main elements. The Danish landworks cover 18 km of new railway from a triangular junction with DSB’s main line just west of København’s main station to a new peninsula off the coast of Amager, together with stations at Tärnby and Kastrup airport and reversing sidings for DSB domestic services. It also includes a parallel road link across Amager to connect with the existing E20 motorway heading west from the capital.

The coast-to-coast section leaves Amager through a 3·7 km immersed tube tunnel under the Drogden shipping channel, avoiding any risk of bridge towers interfering with the airport approaches. The tunnel surfaces onto a 4 km long artificial island which has been built in mid-channel south of Saltholm; the island was given the name ’Peberholm’ in a recent public competition, but the title has yet to be ratified by international agreement. From here, the road and rail links climb onto a 7·8 km double-deck bridge which will include a cable-stayed central section providing a 490m span over the Flinterenden channel.

The Swedish landworks start from the bridge abutment at Lernacken, 7 km south of Malm