Copenhagen's First Metro Line Takes Shape.(Brief Article)

From: International Railway Journal  |  Date: 9/1/1999

Construction of Copenhagen's first metro line is in full swing, although tunnelling problems will delay the opening of stage 1 by a year to late 2002. The light metro will be fully automatic and offer a high standard of service 24 hours a day.

THE COPENHAGEN light metro will run from Vanlose in the west via the city centre to Christianshavn where it will divide. The western branch will serve the university and the new town of 0restad. The eastern branch will initially run to Lergravsparken, but an extension to the airport is planned.

Orestad Development Corporation (0restadsselskabet) awarded two design and build contracts in 1996. The Comet consortium (see panel) won a DKr 3 billion ($US 422 million) contract for the civil works, and Ansaldo Trasporti (now AnsaldoBreda), Italy, a DKr 1.7 billion contract for the electrical and mechanical side. AnsaldoBreda and the Copenhagen bus company, Unibus, will also operate the metro for the first five years.

Due to problems arising in the tunnelling work mainly in connection with water penetration and strict demands to maintain the water table level, a delay of more than a year has occurred on the central section under sensitive parts of the medieval town. The opening date for stage 1, from Norreport to Vestamager and Lergravsparken, is now put at late 2002.

Stage 2a from Norreport to Frederiksberg consists of a bored tunnel and stage 2b from Frederiksberg to Vanlose is a mixture of cut and cover and surface construction. As these sections are less complicated than stage 1, work is progressing as planned and stages 2a and 2b will open a mere seven months after stage 1, possibly even at the same time.

Nevertheless, 0restadsselskabet felt it had made so much progress that it decided to invite the citizens of Copenhagen to inspect some of the working sites on June 19. These included the station sites of Christianshavn and Kongens Nytorv, one of the 600m-long and 5.5m-diameter running tunnels between Islands Brygge and the Stadsgraven junction where the metro divides into two branches, and the Control and Maintenance Centre at Vestamager where the second prototype train could be inspected.

Christianshavn is the most advanced underground station having reached its full depth of 18m. The two tunnel boring machines (TBMs), named Betty and Liva after Danish actresses, are now tunnelling towards Amagerbro having recently passed through the NATM-excavated Stadsgraven junction cavern.

When Lergravsparken, the final underground station on the eastern branch, is reached, the TBMs will be dismantled and taken back to the harbour construction site of Havnegade in order to start tunnelling northwards to Frederiksberg, where the line surfaces for the final stretch to Vanlose.

The order of tunnelling has been dictated by the wish to remove as much as possible of the excavated material from the tunnels by barge. The spoil consists mainly of limestone and is being used as fill for the artificial island of Peberholm forming the transition between tunnel and bridge on the 0resund Link.

The elevated section of the line from south of Islands Brygge to Vestamager is virtually complete, with track laying and construction of the stations underway. The line is a mixture of elevated viaduct, often standing in wide canals where the future town development will take place, and of embankments with steep sides consisting of "gabion" stone filled cages which will be covered with climbing plants. This solution avoids the need to fence the line as the sides are virtually impossible to climb.

The highest point of the line is at 0restad station where the line crosses the 0resund and Airport line where an extra pedestrian level under the metro and over the airport line is required.

The Control and Maintenance Centre consists of a fully automatic servicing zone where the trains are cleaned, washed, tested, and parked, and a manual maintenance area where there are separate tracks for graffiti removal, and changing bogies. The centre is also equipped with a test track fitted with all the systems encountered on the running lines.

The important station of Kongens Nytorv in the city centre has almost been excavated to platform level and preparations are being made for a direct access from the station's mezzanine level to the basement of Copenhagen's main department store.

The complex station at Not-report, where there will be underground interchange between the metro, S-Bane, and Danish State Railways' (DSB) regional and InterCity services, has run into difficulties with the foundations of neighbouring buildings. These seem to have been overcome and excavation is starting in earnest now.

An extra station has been added to the metro project at Flintholm between Lindevang and Vanlose. This was decided when a decision was taken last year to go-ahead with the Copenhagen Ring Line. This is in effect an extension of the present S-Bane line from Hellerup to Vanlose along the outer freight line which will lose most of its freight traffic when DanLink trains are transferred to the Oresund Link in July 2000.

There is still no official decision about stage 3 of the metro, which will extend the line south of Lergravsparken along a disused freight line towards the airport. The southern half of the 4km extension lies in Copenhagen County. The county is involved in financing part of the extension but feels that a proposed light rail link along the Ring 3 highway connecting the large suburban towns of Lyngby, Herlev, Glostrup and Hundige has a higher priority.

In the probable event of the extension receiving the go-ahead, a site for the elevated metro airport station has been reserved at the tip of the delta wing formed mainline station terminal. The extension to the airport is of great importance to the metro as this will be the source of a large number of passengers, especially airport employees many of whom live on the island of Amager.

The second prototype train arrived in Denmark in May and has begun trial running on the Control and Maintenance Centre test track. The first train is being tested on AnsaldoBreda's test track in Naples.

A fleet of 34 trains has been ordered for the complete 21km network. The articulated three-car sets will have aluminium body shells and central couplers at each end with deformation and anti-climb protection.

There is full redundancy for all important on-board systems. For example, a train ran continue to operate if three of its six traction motors have failed. The duplicated on-board computers manage all functions. They also monitor faults and provide a print-out for maintenance staff each time the train enters the depot. Faults which could result in a breakdown are transmitted to the metro control centre, so that operating staff can take appropriate action.

The contract with AnsaldoBreda includes a life cycle cost guarantee. If maintenance costs do not meet guarantee commitments, then the supplier must bring the train up to the agreed standard.

The automatic train control system has three main components: automatic train protection (ATP), automatic train operation (ATO), and automatic train supervision (ATS). The ATS controls traffic movements, maintains a schematic overview for operators in the control centre, provides continuous data on the status of each train, track, and stations, and monitors alarms, faults, and other events. The metro will have fixed blocks, except at stations where there will be floating blocks which will allow trains to be operated more closely together. There will also be a supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) system to control and monitor a variety of equipment such as power supply, escalators, lifts, display screens, cameras, alarms, pumps, and ventilation equipment.

Ballasted track is being laid on all surface sections, and slab track will be used in the tunnels. The metro will be electrified at 750V dc third rail rather than with an overhead system to keep the tunnel diameter to a minimum and to avoid masts and catenary in Orestad.

Underground stations will have platform edge screens and doors to facilitate driverless operation, improve safety and security, and reduce tunnel and station ventilation costs. Information displays at all stations will inform passengers about the waiting time for the next train, its destination, and when services are delayed or disrupted.

However, the metro will aim to operate at least 98% of departures on time, with a bonus/penalty scheme to reward or penalise the operator. The operator will be fined for every passenger complaint which is upheld. The metro will refund taxi fares up to DKr 200 for delays exceeding 30 minutes for the entire public transport trip.

Although there will be no drivers, trains will be staffed to assist passengers, inspect tickets, improve security, and assist in an emergency. The operator will have to conduct passenger satisfaction surveys every six months.

The Copenhagen metro will be the third metro in the world after New York and Chicago to be operated around the clock. A high frequency will he provided. Trains will run at 1.5 minute headways on the Vanlose--Christianshavn core section during peak hours, reducing to 2 minutes between he peaks, 3 minutes in the early morning tad evening, and 15 minutes during the night.

                               NETWORK DATA 
          Under construction  Planned  Total 
          (Phases 1, 2a, 2b) (Phase 3) 
In tunnel       9.7km            0     9.7km 
Elevated         3km           0.2km   3.2km 
Surface         4.1km           4km    8.1km 
Stations          16             6      22 
Trainsets         26             8      34 


Tarmac Construction, Britain SAE International, France Astaldi, Italy Ilbau, Austria NCC Rasmussen & Schiotz Anlaeg, Denmark Bachy, Britain

                                TRAIN DATA 
Consist                        three-car articulated 
Length                                           39m 
Width                                          2.65m 
Height                                          3.4m 
Wheel diameter                                 650mm 
Traction motors                            6 X 105kW 
Traction control                          three ICBT 
                                  shielded inverters 
Maximum speed                                 80km/h 
Acceleration/deceleration rate        1.3m/[s.sup.2] 
Seats (including tip-up)                          96 
Standing places                                  204
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