International passenger

trains in 20th Century Europe

International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

To Scandinavia

Paris to Moskva To Scandinavia Services Scandinavia Servives 2


The map shows that Denmark controls western approaches to Sweden and Norway and that historically routes across Denmark have had to encounter sea crossings. Denmark consists of a peninsula (Jylland) and a number of islands. Connections between the islands were by ferry and this feature dominated access to København and beyond.  

From the west, the first improvement arrived in 1935 with the construction of the Lillebælt bridge which established a direct rail connection between Fredericia and Middlefart on the island of Fyn (Fünen). This enabled the introduction of a through service from Paris to København via Hamburg and Odense, albeit by using the Korsør-Nyborg ferry. Prior to this, a service existed from Paris to Kiel, connecting there with a ferry to Korsør with onward train connection to København. The Korsør-Nyborg ferry was replaced by the Storebælt bridge in 1997 and a full all-land route finally came into being.

The Gedser-Warnemünde ferry was used by through trains from Hamburg to København until the coming of the Iron Curtain. On 14 July 1951 the Gedser-Grossenbrode ferry    was opened between Denmark and northern Germany.  This shortened the route between København and Hamburg by almost 200 km and avoided crossing East Germany. The new sea crossing was 64km in length. This ferry route was replaced in 13 May 1963 when the Vogelsfluglinie, Puttgarten-Rødby Havn ferry opened between  in Germany and  southern Denmark reducing the sea crossing to 19 km.

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