The ferry services are also part of railway history
Before the bridge across Little Belt (1935) and the Great Belt Fixed Link (1997) were built, the different parts of the country were linked by ships and ferry services. With the construction of railway lines across the country, a new type of ferry was needed – the train ferry. The exhibition on the Danish railway ferries includes models of more than a third of the ferries that the Danish State Railways (DSB) has owned.
There are models of more than a third of the ferries that the Danish State Railways (DSB) has owned
The ferry models are small and fascinating. They are scale models of the originals down to the smallest detail
Children love the large ship’s wheel
A recreated First Class saloon on a ferry in the early part of train ferry history
There were no railway ferries for the first few years after the construction of the railways in Jutland and on the island of Fyn. When passengers had to cross one of the belts, they got off the train at the harbour and walked on board a ship. On the other side of the belt, passengers got off the ship and got on another train. It was time consuming and also hard to plan efficiently.
In 1872, Denmark got its first train ferry, named ‘Lillebelt’; it could carry railway carriages and sailed on the route between Strib and Fredericia. The train ferry route across the Great Belt opened in 1883.
The ferry models are quite small – for example 1:87 or 1:100 – but fascinating, as they are exactly like the originals down to the smallest detail. The models cover the entire period where there were train ferries in Denmark: from the oldest model of ‘Lillebelt’ to the Great Belt ferries which many people still remember, such as ‘Dronning Ingrid’ and ‘Arveprins Knud’.
At the exhibition, visitors of any size and age may have a go at our ship’s wheel and experience how it feels standing at the helm of a ferry.
In a recreated saloon, you get a very clear sense of what it would have been like being a passenger on a ferry in the early part of train ferry history – that is, if you were travelling First Class. The iceboat exhibition is an experience all on its own – enjoy the smell of tar reminiscent of seafaring in times gone by.