Frederick IX Bridge

The King Frederick IX bridge (Danish: Kong Frederik den 9's Bro; named for King Frederick IX of Denmark) is a combined road and railway bridge carrying the Danish national road 9 as well as Sydbanen and Lollandsbanen railway lines across the Guldborgsund strait between the islands of Falster and Lolland in Denmark. It joins the larger part of the city of Nykøbing on Falster with the smaller part of the town on Lolland. The rail link is a part of the railway section of the Fugleflugtslinjen transport corridor between Copenhagen, Denmark and Hamburg, Germany.

King Frederick IX Bridge

Kong Frederik IX's Bro
Frederick IX Bridge
Frederick IX Bridge
CoordinatesCoordinates: 54°45′32″N 11°51′58″E / 54.75889°N 11.86611°E / 54.75889; 11.86611
CarriesDanish national road 9
CrossesThe Guldborgsund strait
LocaleRegion Sjælland, Denmark
BeginsNykøbing, Falster
EndsSundby, Lolland
Named forKing Frederick IX of Denmark
OwnerThe Danish Road Directorate
Maintained byThe Danish Road Directorate
DesignBeam bascule bridge
Total length295 metres (968 ft)
Width33 metres (108 ft)
Rail characteristics
No. of tracks1
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Construction start1960
Construction end1962
Inaugurated14 May 1963

The bridge is 295 metres (968 ft) and 33.3 metres (109 ft) wide. It is a bascule bridge of beam design. The bridge carries four lanes of vehicle traffic and a single railway track.


In 1867, after many years of discussion, a pontoon bridge, the Christian IX Bridge, was constructed across the Guldborgsund from Nykøbing to Lolland, which at its inauguration was the longest in Denmark.[1] Furthermore, in 1875 a separate railway bridge was constructed to allow for the railway lines on Lolland to reach Nykøbing.[1] Both bridges were swing bridges which could be opened for passing ships.[1] These two bridges existed – with several reconstructions – until 1963.

The current Frederick IX Bridge was constructed between 1960 and 1962. The official opening was on 14 May 1963.

Future developmentsEdit

There is a decision to widen the bridge with one more rail track and to fit electric overhead line, in connection with the Fehmarn Belt Tunnel. In order to cut cost for this, there is a wish from the tunnel company to not allow bridge openings after this.[2]


Rail and road bascules in raised position

The bridge has a central 20m span with two bascules, both on the eastern side of the bridge. One carries four lanes of vehicle traffic while the other carries a rail link. The two parts normally operate together. The bridge is manned during the day and opened on request for passing ships, but may only be opened once every half-hour. It is planned for the bridge to be re-equipped for automatic operation.

Chamber into which the bascule counterweights sink when raised, showing drive racks

The bascules consist of a long bridge span and a short counterweight section. Each bascule is supported by two pivot bearings, one either side. Two motors, one either side of the bridge, turn shafts passing through the centre of the pivot bearings. Further shafts take power to the rear of the counterweights, where there are pinions pressing against a rack mounted in the wall of the counterweight chamber, which drive the bascule.

Underside of raised bascules, showing tipped up railings and yellow driveshaft
Underside of bascules, showing bearings about which bascules rotate, and yellow drive shaft
Bascules falling

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit


  • Nørregård, Georg (1977). Nykøbing Falster gennem tiderne (in Danish). Vol. 1–2. Nykøbing Falster: Nykøbing Falster Kommune. ISBN 87-98-06-35-0-2.