On June 14th COINCO e.V. arranged together with Technische Hochschule Wildau a seminar on new ways to connect Scandinavia via Sweden to North East Germany on the premises of IHK in Fasanen Strasse in Berlin. Christian Wiesenhuetter hosted the seminar and Knut Halvorsen was moderator. The seminar was open for members of COINCO e.V. and specially invited guest from the logistics community.
Six engineer student teams from the department of Intermodale Verkehre und Infrastructur at TH Wildau, under the leadership of Professor Jens Wollenweber and Dipl.-Ing. Philip Michalk - went through two main concepts. Specially invited experienced engineers from DB E&C and DB Cargo where invited to give their comments. Some of them had also participated in a workshop at TH Wildau on the 15th of May.
Three of the student groups presented first the “tube bridge for driverless freight train” concept. Based on the tube bridge technology – at first developed in relation to the aim of the Norwegian Road Administration of crossing the western Norwegian fjords for double lane road traffic concepts – a specialized concept for pendel traffic through a single track in one tube of 100 km for freight trains between the Swedish town of Trelleborg and Sassnitz, had been part of the students work through their spring semester.
The students had looked into the basic economics of the concept, how to optimize the logistics flows, where to locate the different types of infrastructure involved, energy use etc. The tube bridge technology is based on the principle of sinking down a tube of concrete and then balancing gravity forces and the uplift forces in water. The tube has the same characteristics as a tunnel, but cost much less than half to produce since it can be constructed by pre mass produced elements.
The Baltice Sea in this part is considered perfect for tube bridges, it is flat and only between 40 -60 m deep. The estimated costs of the tube bridge solution in question is 5.5 – 6 bill euro which is significantly less than previous concepts (tunnel). The students had done good work and advanced the ideas tube bridge for freight trains significantly.
The other three student teams had looked into a hyperloop connection between Malmø and Berlin, with a stop in Stralsund. Hyperloop is still in an early stage and the first basic testing are this year taking place in the USA. It is based on the principle of transportation of people and goods in units (pods) by maglev, in tubes with reduced air pressure and as near vacuum as possible. This combination can in theory create speed of up to1200 km pr hour. The journey from Malmø to Berlin would thus take less than 20 minutes.
Hyperloop can thus replace air planes in the intermediate distances both because it is faster, safer. It uses less energy pr transported passenger and is thus also less costly than flights. The students had looked into the market potential, how the traffic pattern could be organized and different technical aspects. It is expected that if one can build a hyperloop connection between Malmø and Berlin and as suggested here, it would replace much of the air traffic between a large part of Southern Scandinavia (including Stockholm and Oslo).
The student teams had approached the topic with great enthusiasm and skills and especially it was fascinating through a video animation to get an idea on how the first hyperloop station in Berlin could look like.
Daniel Beier, Frithjof Eicke, Fabian Eisenberg and Jan Tjark Grünwold, June 2017