Copenhagen’s spectacular new train system

BBC Radio 4’s Money Box Live Wednesday 17 July at 1502 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Listen to the programme Programme transcript (10 pages) Copenhagen’s new metro is a thing of beauty. In March 2013 the dream of a modern, environmentally friendly, central metro in Denmark’s capital was finally realised when it opened for public use. But with over 4 million passengers passing through its stations each day, how many vehicles will this open-air tourist attraction actually generate? And will the tree-lined routes be smooth enough to run trains, buses and taxis? Correspondent

Herman Putnoez, chairman of Copenhagen’s city council The office is 10m long and is going to be used, at least initially, by the Danish diplomatic corps. These people will be one of the few that will be able to go there without being stopped by other car owners but, in his eyes, their ticket is the ticket to the future. The great design of the new rail line is simple and functional – the way you move about Copenhagen is determined by the routes that the electric trains run on, and the main axis is the city centre, and from there you have a very short distance of about a kilometre between your home and work. Mogens Njaeth, conductor, Paris Metro There is a station for every 31 households in Paris. So it has become kind of like a walking tram network for Paris, but is there any room for innovation? There is not actually any space for new stations but all the stations have solar panel roofs and they are powered, in some places, by wind energy, so it is not reliant on the sun. So maybe there will be more innovation coming into Paris Metro. But like in Copenhagen, you don’t get real innovation from the companies.

The foreign companies are always complaining that it is impossible to pay the energy bill and the local staff are paying too much. So there is a problem there. The staff who work on them are determined to find a solution so that people that need to pay less have to pay less and people that pay more have to pay less. So it’s like a knife in the heart to us because the more efficient we are, the more money the system will get. Helen Boaden, executive producer

More detailed journey Commuters are undeterred by the long journey time of 17 minutes – it beats the alternative for many in the city, and it is worth making because the new Metro is a city-scale wonder.

BBC Radio 4’s Money Box Live Wednesday 17 July at 1502 BST On Radio 4 and Online

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