City Circle Line

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Aerial of the City Circle Line being built, Øster Søgade

The City Circle Line (Danish: Cityringen) or M3 is a future loop line of the Copenhagen Metro. It has been claimed by COWI A/S that the City Circle Line is the largest construction project to have taken place in Copenhagen during the last 400 years.[1] Upon its completion, the network's total length shall be 43km and have in excess of 40 stations. Its completion has been anticipated to occur prior to July 2019.

Plans for its construction were approved by the Danish Parliament on 1 June 2007.[2] Preferred bidders were announced during November 2010.[3] The total cost was estimated at 15 billion kroner[4] but had risen to 21.3 billion kroner ($3.23 billion) when the contractors were announced in late 2010.[3] It shall be a fully automated line, using driverless trains and capable of routine 24/7 operations. Italian rolling stock manufacturer AnsaldoBreda is to provide the trains for the new line. The stations are intentionally similar to the Copenhagen Metro's existing ones. The transit agency Movia has projected that up to 34 million passengers will eventually switch from buses to using the Metro during each year.



During 2002, the Copenhagen Metro, a fully automated driverless metro system, was opened.[5] It quickly became known for its high level of reliability, attaining an operational punctuality in excess of 98 per cent of on-time arrivals. Due to its success, during 2005, plans were mooted for further expansion of Copenhagen Metro in the form of the City Circle Line.[5] As proposed, it involved the construction of a new 15.5km underground circular route, on which a total of 17 new stations along with two new underground lines, designated as M3 and M4, complete with emergency shafts would be constructed. The City Circle Line is to connect into the Kongens Nytorv and Frederiksberg stations of the preexisting metro network.[6]

During the summer of 2007, the Danish Parliament gave its approval to the construction of the proposed line, although it would be another four years before construction activity would commence. At the time of its approval, the project had an projected cost of DKK21.3 billion ($3.2 billion) along with an anticipated date of completion by July 2019.[6] Transport group Metroselskabet held overall responsibility for the City Circle Line.[6]


On 7 January 2011, the civil engineering contract for the City Circle Line was awarded to the Copenhagen Metro Team (CMT), a joint venture comprising Salini Impregilo, Technimont, and SELI.[6] Another joint venture between COWI A/S, Arup Group and SYSTRA were separately awarded the civil works contract. Engineering company MT Højgaard was awarded the contract for the construction of the line's stations and the operations and maintenance centre.[6] Italian rail equipment specialist Ansaldo STS was selected to supply the trains, electrical infrastructure and communications systems, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), platform-edge doors, and the signalling system.[6]

The route's tunnels and many of the underground structures were constructed by SYSTRA, who also provided substantial project management work on the programme.[6] Consultancy services regarding rolling stock and the automated train depot were sourced from Ramboll and WS Atkins. MJ Eriksson was subcontracted to undertake the construction of 21 shafts for the 17 stations, along with four other related facilities.[6] The line incorporates various live data feeds for the purpose of to highlighting hazards and recording any accidents using project compliance software ComplyPro, produced by software company Comply Serve.[6]


During 2013, boring of a pair of 15.5km parallel tunnels commenced using a total of four tunnel boring machines (TBMs); these were named Eva, Minerva, Nora, and Tria.[6] These tunnels were bored with an inner diameter of 4.9 meters and at a depth varying between 35 meters and 20 meters. The interior walls of the tunnel have been coated with concrete and multiple emergency shafts have been installed for the purpose of providing ventilation and maintenance access.[6] The extracted earth produced by the construction effort was routinely used to fill the Nordhavn reclamation project in Øresund.[7]

During the construction process, it was commonplace for geological sensors to be deployed in the general vicinity to monitor ground movements for the purpose of protecting buildings and other structures in the city.[1] During 2014, the line's control and maintenance centre buildings were completed; that same year, various others works were finished, including the walls around all of the stations, three of the shaft structures.[6] Reportedly, the final construction activity was centered upon the refurbishment of the surrounding areas around the new stations.[6]

Stations and route[edit]


The 15.5 km City Circle Line will serve 17 stations.[3] It will intersect the M1 and M2 lines at Kongens Nytorv and Frederiksberg stations, and suburban train services at København H, Østerport and Nørrebro.[3] It will extend the Metro network to the Nørrebro and Østerbro areas and København H (the Copenhagen central station).[6] The City Circle Line shall services to many of the major areas of Copenhagen, including the Danish Parliament, the Central Station, City Hall, and multiple stations of the S-train and existing metro stops. Access to the region and commuter heavy rail network is also deliberately provision for at several places along its route; furthermore, a twin-track line is to provide a connection between the City Circle Line and the Nordhavnen Metro.[6] Just as M1 and M2 share a section of the existing metro, the City Circle Line will share a 6-station section with the future M4 line.[citation needed]

Initially, two possible routes were considered, after an even bigger screening of ideas. During December 2005, it was announced that the Copenhagen and Frederiksberg municipalities had selected the Frederiksberg route; the purpose is to cover areas not yet served by S-trains or the Metro.[citation needed]

The finished City Circle Line has been promoted as playing a heavy influence upon much of Copenhagen's current transport network. The transit agency Movia projects up to 34 million passengers will switch from buses to the Metro annually.[8] Once the line is completed, 85 per cent of all homes, work places and educational facilities in Copenhagen's inner city area, as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods, shall be less than a ten-minute walk from either a metro or train station.[5] It has been projected for the line to be used by approximately 240,000 passengers per day.[6] It is fully automated, being operated using a driverless system that shall provide 24/7 service coverage and at a peak frequency between trains of 100 seconds. It is intended for trains on the line to achieve an average speed of 40km/h during regular service.[6] As such, performing a round journey on the line is estimated to take approximately 24 minutes.[6]


The design of the stations is to be largely identical to those of the Copenhagen Metro, which are all underground stations with easy access from the street level and to the platform.[6] The underground stations of the City Circle Line are to be built at a depth of approximately 19 meters using cut-and-cover methods; a standardised box structure has been adopted, measuring 64 meters by 20 meters. Each one is to be outfitted with island platforms, which are to have a width of between 7 meters and 9 meters.[6]

Stations are listed counterclockwise, beginning in the southeast.[9]

These new stations will have a similar design and structure to those of the current Metro, but with more varied materials and colors, making the individual station more recognisable.[10]

Rolling stock[edit]

Italian rolling stock manufacturer AnsaldoBreda, who had previously provided trains for the existing Copenhagen metro, was selected to supply new-build rolling stock for the line.[3][6] Deliveries of the trains to the Metro company commenced during 2014; these are being referred to as being the version 5 of the AnsaldoBreda Driverless Metro trains.[11] While these vehicles are broadly identical to the ones running on the Copenhagen metro, they feature several advancements in terms of technology, materials and design.[6]

The driverless trains will be directly monitored from the line's centralised operations and maintenance centre; it will be equipped with a communications-based train control (CBTC) for this purpose.[6] These vehicles are to reportedly capable of a top speed of 90kph, an increase compared to the 80kph trains used on other Metro lines. They will have a maximum capacity of 314 passengers and there will be a train every 100 seconds, giving a frequency of 36 trains per hour.[6] It will perform 24/7 services, passengers will be able to keep track of the train location through an electronic display system.[6]


  1. ^ a b "The Copenhagen Metro, Denmark.", Retrieved: 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Metro-Cityringen vedtaget: Markant løft af den kollektive trafik i hovedstadsområdet" (in Danish). Transportministeriet (Danish Transport Ministry). 1 June 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e "København Cityringen contractors selected". Railway Gazette International. 25 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Enighed om Metro-ring til 15 milliarder kroner". DR Nyheder. 2 December 2005.
  5. ^ a b c "The Copenhagen Metro." Ramboll, Retrieved: 10 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Cityringen Metro, Copenhagen". Railway Technology. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  7. ^ Marfelt, Birgitte. "Nordhavnen er på vej ud i sejlrenden." Ingeniøren, 31 August 2013. Accessed: 16 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Bynet-2019 - forslag til strategisk busnet" (PDF). Movia. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Metro Cityring". Metro. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  10. ^ "Københavns Metro". Metroselskabet.
  11. ^ "De nye metrotog". Retrieved 6 April 2017.

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