Our next train, from Stockholm to Copenhagen, features the Swedish “X2” tilting high speed train. It uses active tilt technology originally developed in Britain for the APT Advanced Passenger Train, which the natives considered too clever an idea to actually bother getting to work properly.
We cross the Göta Canal again at Norsholm, The Swedes voted the canal as their greatest engineering achievement of the last 1,000 years, and it’s also rated as the country’s top tourist attraction. Another brownie point for British design technology. We also go past dozens of Sweden’s “97,500 lakes larger than 2 acres”.
The train travels along the Fugleflugtslinien (bird flight line), and in the process uses the Rødby to Puttgarden ferry from Denmark to Germany, one of only 2 remaining services in Europe where trains actually board the boat (the only other is the link from Calabria to Messina in Sicily, which we were going to do if we could have sneaked it into the schedule. But if you’ve got more time ….). You will be able to leave the train once on the boat and get a good blast of Nordic sea air during the crossing. A bridge is under construction across the Femern Bælt between the two ports, due to open in 2018, and then there will only be one European rail ferry left.
We get into Hamburg at a quarter past eight in the evening, and have barely an hour to grab a track-side beer before we are back on the move again on another of these sexy ICE trains which will speed us off to the German capital in time for Midnight schnapps at the Brandenburg Gate.
Here’s an excellent post From Andrew Grantham about the Fugleflugtslinien http://www.andrewgrantham.co.uk/as-the-vogel-flies/.