Elbe Crossing 2 is a group of pylons providing overhead lines for four 380 kV three phase AC current circuits across the German river Elbe. It was constructed between 1976 and 1978 to supplement Elbe Crossing 1, and consists of 4 masts:
- A 76 meter tall anchor pylon located in Lower Saxony, on the Elbe's southern banks.
- Two carrying pylons, each 227 meters tall. One is located on the island of Lühesand and the other is near Hetlingen in Schleswig-Holstein, on the northern shore.
- These pylons are the tallest pylons in Europe and the sixth tallest of the world. They stand on 95 stakes because of the unfavorable building ground. The base of each pylon measures 45×45 meters and each pylon weighs 980 tons. Crossbeams, which hold up the power cables, are located at heights of 172, 190 and 208 meters. The crossbeams span 56 meters (lowest crossbeam), 72 meters (middle crossbeam) and 57 meters (highest crossbeam). Each pylon has a self-propelled climbing elevator for maintenance of the aircraft warning lights; each elevator runs inside a steel tube in the center of the mast, around which there is a spiral staircase.
- An 62 meter tall anchor pylon on the Schleswig-Holstein side.
The enormous height of the two carrying pylons ensures that the passage height requirement of 75 meters over the Elbe demanded by German authorities is met. The height requirement ensures that large ships are able to enter Hamburg's deep water port.
Of the 12 power cables of the Elbe crossing 2, only 6 were used immediately after construction. The others were installed for future use but grounded at the two anchor masts of the Elbe crossing 2 because of the difficulties of pulling cables over the Elbe if more capacity were needed later. In the 1990s it was decided to electrify Schleswig-Holstein's railways and to use some of the unused power lines to supply electric energy to those tracks. As a result 4 cables now carry 110 kV single phase AC current for the Deutsche Bahn.
This makes the pylons of Elbe Crossing 2 to the tallest pylons used for carrying currents for traction current. However the tallest pylons exclusively carrying single phase AC circuits are that of Bremen-Industriehafen Weser Powerline Crossing.
- "Die Maste der neuen 380-kV-Hochspannungsfreileitung über die Elbe" NWK special edition of "Der Stahlbau", 48th year, issues 11 and 12, pp. 321 to 326, pp. 360 to 366, authors: Friedrich Kießling, Hans Dieter Sperl and Friedrich Wagemann
- "Die neue 380-kV-Elbekreuzung der Nordwestdeutsche Kraftwerke AG" NWK special edition of "Elektrizitätswirtschaft", 77th year, issue 10 (May 8, 1978) pp. 341 to 352