The plan is to construct a double-track electrified line to by-pass many of the coastal resorts currently served by the existing single-track non-electrified line which will be closed when the new line opens.

"We want to develop our tourism resorts and we want to boost freight traffic from Scandinavia by rail," Meyer says. "This letter of intent helps to achieve both goals."

DB has already drawn up plans for the new line, while the state has agreed to the operation of a local passenger service between Lübeck and Puttgarden.