The work will involve the construction of new tracks, upgrading existing ones to higher speed limits, electrification and the implementation of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS).
EIB has signed a loan agreement with Femern Landanlaeg, the company managing the Danish part of the Fehmarnbelt railway connection between southern Denmark and Hamburg in Germany.
The project covers some 80km of railway between Ringsted and Nykøbing Falster, where the existing tracks will be modernised and a second track will be built. The financing also covers bridge works on the 40km stretch between Nykøbing Falster and Rødby, to prepare the Danish rail network for the Fehmarn Belt tunnel opening.
Once the tunnel is operational, high-speed trains will be able to complete the Hamburg-Copenhagen stretch in under 3 hours.
EIB vice-president Alexander Stubb said: “Let’s face it: we all know that to reach the goals set by the Paris agreement, we need to cut our CO2 emissions. You can do this by cutting on travel, business and tourism, but the better option is probably to provide alternative modes of transportation that do not hurt the environment as much. The EIB is the biggest financier of climate-relevant projects in the world, and we’re 100% behind the Fehmarn Belt railway link.”