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Prevention minimises accidents

Prevention is a key word in the effort to minimise the risk of accidents and critical incidents in the Fehmarnbelt tunnel.

Femern A/S has minimised the risk of serious accidents through the way in which the tunnel is designed and via its technology and equipment.

All tunnel tubes are connected by emergency exits every 110 metres, so that any evacuation in the event of an accident can happen quickly. The tunnel comprises four tubes: two traffic tubes for rail traffic, one for each direction, and two tubes for road traffic - one for each direction. There is also a technical service gallery between the two road tubes. It is possible to pass from one tunnel tube to the other via the emergency exits.

The tunnel is also equipped with advanced traffic monitoring equipment that can detect stranded vehicles, lost objects, slow vehicles, congestion and traffic in the wrong direction. All areas in the road tunnel tubes are video monitored. 

No oncoming traffic

Driving in the tunnel is in one direction only so that motorists are not blinded by oncoming traffic. There are emergency lanes throughout the length of the tunnel in each of the double-laned tubes for road traffic. In addition, crash barriers are designed in such a way that the likelihood of a pile up is reduced.  

As regards the railway, train traffic is in one direction only in each tube. There are no switches in the tunnel. The walkway on both sides of the tracks are also designed to provide protection against consequential damage if a train is derailed.

All tunnel tubes are connected by emergency exits every 110 metres, so that any evacuation in the event of an accident can happen quickly.

Did you know that...

... In partnership with the Danish and German police, the fire services and emergency services, Femern A/S has identified and analysed all conceivable types of accident during the work to develop contingency plans for the tunnel.

Monitoring to ensure rapid invention 

The tunnel is monitored 24/7 from the tunnel’s control centre, LCC, outside the tunnel on the Danish side. The train traffic will be monitored by the train traffic control centre, TCC, in Copenhagen. Both are staffed round the clock. 

Abnormal situations will immediately be registered, e.g. if a vehicle drives overly slowly or breaks down, so that the tunnel’s operations crew can take appropriate action or the emergency services alerted. Temperature, air quality and the volume of traffic in the tunnel tubes will also be monitored. Road users will be kept informed about conditions in the tunnel via radio, loudspeakers and signage. Should an accident occur, the emergency services will be alerted and the contingency plans set in motion.  

Train traffic will be controlled by the train traffic control centre, TCC, which will monitor and control every train movement both inside and outside the tunnel. The control centre will also be able to get in contact with train drivers at any time. This means that both the train control centre and the Fehmarnbelt tunnel’s control centre will immediately be informed if an incident necessitates the evaculation of passengers from a train.