Puttgarden station is a major ferry terminal on the Vogelfluglinie (bird flight line) on the island of Fehmarn in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. It lies between the town of Puttgarden and Marienleuchte.
It primarily serves the needs of international long distance traffic, but since the reintroduction of regional traffic on the line it is again of regional importance for Fehmarn.
In 1961, a large ferry terminal was built in Puttgarden and in 1963 it was put into operation together with the Fehmarn Sound Bridge, because the traditional ferry from Germany to Denmark between Rostock-Warnemünde and Gedser was at the time beyond the Iron Curtain, and the replacement route from Großenbrode Quay to Gedser was too complicated.
The ferry terminal was opened on 14 May 1963 by the Danish King Frederik IX and German President Heinrich Lübke. The station was very important from the beginning, since a large proportion of rail freight and passenger traffic was shipped to and from Scandinavia via Puttgarden. This is shown by the large and, since the end of freight traffic on the bird flight line, almost completely idle network of rail tracks.
A EuroCity leaving ferry.After the completion of the bridge over the Great Belt in Denmark in 1998, most trains run for financial reasons over a lengthy detour by that route because of the limited track capacity of the roll-on/roll-off ships and to avoid the associated shunting. Freight through the rail yards at Puttgarden was initially partially closed and then closed completely. Simultaneously with the closing of freight traffic in the period from 1996 to 1998, the ferry terminal was modernised by the shipping company Scandlines.
In 2007, the station was completely modernised, including the provision of level access even to the unused platforms along with glass, automatic exit doors and a modern toilet facility with toilets for the disabled. The final stage of this work was the reconstruction of the platform, significantly shortening and slightly raising the platform, and the equipping of the station with a modern lighting and sound system.
The former locomotive-hauled EuroCity service from Hamburg to Copenhagen were replaced in the 1990s by a three-carriage Danish IC3 multiple unit, which can be coupled and uncoupled without any shunting. Since December 2007, some of the IC3 services have been replaced by German Intercity-Express services operated by class 605 (ICE-TD) diesel multiple units, together providing several services each day on the Copenhagen–Hamburg route. One pair runs to/from Berlin.
In August 2010, the Burg on Fehmarn station was reactivated, and is now called Fehmarn-Burg station. Until December 2010, some services of Intercity line 31 to/from Frankfurt began and ended in Puttgarden.
Since the completion of the Great Belt Fixed Link in Denmark, the route via Puttgarden has become less used by trains, but the harbour is still used by Scandlines ferries. The service is frequent, with four ferries giving one connection every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day.
Whether for a short trip or a longer stay the Baltic island Fehmarn has some surprises: milelong natural beaches, small lakes and impressive steep cliffs. But also the fields and meadows invite people to hike and bike. Puttgarden in the north of the island is a popular holiday destination and an important international junction as well.
If one stays a few days or even weeks in Puttgarden he will never be bored. On Fehmarn’s beaches the tourists can recover from daily life and the children can frolic and build sandcastle after sandcastle. Sailboarding is a popular leisure activity. History enthusiasts can visit the Peter & Paul Chapel. A visit of the 115-meter-high tower of the German Telekom is interesting as well.