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Fehmarnbelt launches £176M railway construction contract tender


Fehmarnbelt launched railway construction contract tender

Femern, the company in charge of building the Fehmarnbelt rail and road tunnel connecting Germany and Denmark, has begun the bidding process for its DKK1.5 billion (£176.4 million) railway track and catenary system construction contract.

When completed, the 18-kilometer Fehmarnbelt tunnel will be the world’s longest immersed tube tunnel, as well as the world’s longest underwater road and rail tunnel. The immersed tube tunnel will house a four-lane highway alongside two electrified railway tracks that will connect the Danish island of Lolland with the German island of Fehmarn.

Over the last year, Femern has worked with railway industry leaders to ensure that the tender process yields bids for a “railway system of the highest standard” with an energy-efficient traction power solution.

The contract calls for the construction of 25km of 200km/h dual track rail through the tunnel and out both sides, complete with a catenary system. It will concentrate on environmentally friendly solutions.

The tender process begins with a pre-qualification round, with the goal of bringing on board the best and most appropriate bidders to provide the best solution.


Femern expects bidders to have a “significant” annual turnover and solvency ratio, as well as documented experience performing similar tasks. It has deadlines to meet as well as corporate social responsibility requirements. It anticipates the formation of consortia as bidders for the job.

This summer, pre-qualification will take place, followed by tender negotiations that will last until the end of 2024. The work is not expected to begin until 2025.

The tunnel is being built by the Femern Link Contractors (FLC) consortium, which includes Vinci, Aarsleff, Wayss & Freytag, Max Bögl, CFE, Solétanche Bachy, Bam Infra, Bam International, and Dredging International. It will be made up of 89 massive precast concrete elements (each 217m long, 42m wide, and weighing over 73,000t), the production of which has not yet begun, but the precast factories are nearing completion.

“The railway is a way of contributing to the green transition of the transport sector, where freight and passenger traffic will have improved significantly opportunities for fast and direct travel,” ” says Femern contract director Kirsten Christensen.