Photographer's Note

A closer view of the Øresund Bridge at night, focusing on the lower level - the trough with the railway inside the steel girders carrying the upper motorway deck. This railway line totals 34km (21mi) of double tracks built for a maximum speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) and ties the Swedish and the Danish railway systems together.

When opened in July 2000, this was the fifth*) railway line to cross a Swedish border. All four previous crossings are at the border to Norway – at that time a Norwegian/Swedish union border and today a EU/non-EU border – and built to fit together. But this one is a connection between two existing railway systems and it was most certainly not a 'plug-and-play'.

Denmark has right hand traffic running on 25 kV at 50 Hz, while Sweden has left hand traffic running on 15 kV at 16 ⅔ Hz - and both the interlocking and the ATC systems differ. The border between the two systems is placed near the tunnel at Pepparholm on the Danish side, but the whole line is working under Danish ATC system. Trains must be able to run on both electrical systems and they run – actually all the way to Malmö Central Station – in right hand traffic.

During this photo session I moved toward the abutment on the Swedish side and when I came close, I was met by three police detectives showing me their badges. It turned out some young people had set up a stage for a rave party under the bridge and the policemen were there to keep an eye on them.

They didn't mind me taking some photos and as it was almost midnight on a Saturday night I felt secure in their presence. So with the techno/house music beating, the laser and stroboscope lights pounding and an Øresund train roaring above my head every ten minutes I took my shots.

This was an astonishing once-in-a-lifetime experience!

*) Edit: This is actually the sixth railway line to cross a Swedish border, as I've recently found out that there's a 4 km (2.5 mile) railway line across the Swedish - Finnish border between Haparanda and Tornio which was built in 1919. This line uses a four-rail dual gauge combining the Swedish/European 1.435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) and the Finnish/Russian 1.524 mm (5 ft) tracks and is only used by freight trains.

Image cropped, ran autolevels with faded to 30%, increased saturation +10, reduced in yellow –20 and compensated lightness +20, ran NeatImage at 60%, resized for TE, sharpened, framed and saved for Web.
Actual shutter speed was 16 seconds.

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Additional Photos by Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 240 N: 849] (2454)
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