Copenhagen Central Station
Copenhagen Central Station (Danish: Københavns Hovedbanegård [kʰøpm̩ˈhɑwns ˈhoːð̩pɛnəˌkɒˀ], abbreviated København H) is the main railway station in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the largest railway station in Denmark. With more than 100,000 travelers every day, it is the second busiest station in Denmark after Nørreport station.[a] It is located in central Copenhagen, situated between the districts of Indre By and Vesterbro with entrances from Bernstorffsgade (at Tivoli Gardens), Banegårdspladsen, Reventlowsgade and access to platforms from Tietgensgade.
|S-train and DSB station|
DK-1557 Copenhagen V
|Opened||1 December 1911|
|Rebuilt||15 May 1934 (S-train)|
|Electrified||1934 (S-train), 1986 (Mainline)|
Copenhagen Central Station is the hub of the DSB railway network serving Denmark and international destinations. It offers International Train services to Sweden and Germany, InterCity and Express train services across Denmark, regular and frequent regional train services to and from Zealand and southern Sweden (also referred to as Øresund trains), commuter rail services of the Copenhagen S-train network across the Greater Copenhagen area, as well as rapid transit services by the Copenhagen Metro network's City Circle Line across central Copenhagen.
The first station in Copenhagen opened in 1847. The current station building opened in 1911 and is the work of architect Heinrich Wenck. The station has 7 platforms and 13 tracks. On the station concourse there are many small shops, restaurants, cafés, and fast food outlets.
The first railway station in Copenhagen was constructed on behalf of Det Sjællandske Jernbaneselskab (English: the Zealand Railway Company) to serve as the eastern terminal station of the new Copenhagen-Roskilde railway line from Copenhagen to Roskilde, the first railway line in the Kingdom of Denmark.[b] The station opened on 26 June 1847 along with the railway line, which was prolonged from Roskilde to the port city of Korsør by the Great Belt in 1856.
The station was located at the site of Dronningens Enghave (English: the Queen's Meadow Garden), a former royal pleasure garden located just outside the Vesterport (English: Western Gate) city gate of Copenhagen. The first station was located approximately at the site of the current station, but the tracks were perpendicular to their current direction, as the railway line then left the city along the current streets Halmtorvet and Sønder Boulevard. The station building was constructed of wood as it was built outside the city's fortifications within the demarcation line, a no-build zone outside the ramparts where brick buildings were not allowed for military reasons. In case of war, the army should be able to burn buildings in the firing range outside the ramparts.
This railway station and the still existing Roskilde station (which is built in brick) are both linked to a largely unknown architect named L.F. Meyer (or Meier). But it has also been suggested that the railway station in Copenhagen should be attributed to the architect Harald Conrad Stilling, as there are strong similarities between the railway station and Stilling's roller coaster in the amusement park Tivoli Gardens. Both buildings are characterized by Italian rural architecture, and Stilling was one of the most well-versed architects of this Italian style, just as he had insight into wood construction from his assignments at Tivoli. For both station buildings, a motif with two towers without spires is a central part of the composition (the towers at Roskilde station were crowned by a balustrade until 1873, when they were covered by pyramid roofs).
The first station station building was demolished in 1865.
In the 1860s, there were several plans to expand the railway network in Denmark, and in particular to connect a northbound line to North Zealand with the existing westbound line to Roskilde and the rest of Zealand. As a consequence, an expansion of the old station became necessary. A proposal to build a new station close to the old Nørreport (English: Northern Gate) city gate was abandoned due to opposition from the Rigsdag, Denmark's parliament. In the end, it was decided to replace the old station and build a new larger station near the location of the old one. The construction started in 1863 and the station opened on 14 October 1864. As planned, the new railway station was also to service the new northbound railway lines that opened the year before, the North Line to Hillerød and Elsinore and its branch line, the Klampenborg Line to Klampenborg.
The new railway station was located a little north of the location of the old one, on the other side of Vesterbrogade. The station building was located approximately where the Palads Cinema and Axelborg lie today, but it was part of a larger facility, as there was a freight station in the same area. Together with track areas, depots, and turntables, the station area filled virtually the entire area, which today lies between Axeltorv, Gyldenløvesgade and Vester Søgade. As traffic increased, several additional smaller station buildings gradually opened in the station area. A separate station called the Klampenborg station for the Klampenborg Line had opened already in 1863. In 1887, a significant expansion of the area took place as a new separate station called the Klampenborg station opened for the Klampenborg Line, and the name of the old Klampenborg station was changed to the North station. And in 1896 a separate station for trains to Holte on the North Line, the Holte station, was opened just to the north of the North station.
The station building was designed by the architect Johan Daniel Herholdt in the Rundbogenstil that now became popular in the architecture of the Germanic world. After the dismantling of fortifications of Copenhagen and the abandonment of the demarcation line in 1856, the building could be constructed in red brick. It consisted of two 25-span buildings connected by a wooden arch crowned by a large slate roof. Four tracks passed through the hall. The departure side was by the current Axeltorv, and on this side there were offices, luggage expedition and waiting rooms. The waiting rooms were divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd class. Further on there was a royal waiting room and then toilets. As the volume of traffic increased, a special freight forwarding building was added.
In the long run, however, this second station also became too cramped, especially because it was a terminal station with only one track leading out of the city which had to cross the lakes of Copenhagen on a narrow dam along Gyldenløvesgade. On the other side of the lakes, the track split in two: to the west via Frederiksberg station to Roskilde and Frederikssund and to the north via Nørrebro station and Hellerup station to Hillerød, Helsingør and Klampenborg.[c] The tracks are long gone, but can still be seen in the street network. Matters were made worse from the fact that the tracks had several level crossings on the way out of the city, which with the steadily increasing train traffic led to frequent blockages for the equally steadily increasing road traffic when the barriers were down.
The third and current railway stationEdit
By the end of the 19th century, it had become increasingly clear that the conditions at the second railway station had become too narrow and outdated. Already from the end of the 1870s, it was discussed how to solve these problems with Copenhagen's railway connections. After many years of discussions, the Rigsdag, Denmark's parliament finally decided in 1904 to build a brand new railway station, approximately at the location of the first station. The new station was to be a through station with the tracks of the westbound lines leading south from the new station out of the city along Ingerslevsgade via Valby station towards Roskilde and Frederikssund, and the tracks of the northbound lines leading north from the new station through a railway tunnel to Østerport station and continuing north from there via Hellerup station to Hillerød and Elsinore.
The new station was opened on 30 November 1911 by Crown Prince Christian, who stated:
It will probably stand as a monumental reminder of Danish architecture in the beginning of the 20th century. As I express the wish that our new station may make establish a more firm connection between the capital and the country and between Denmark and abroad, I declare Copenhagen Station open!.
The following day, December 1, the first train departed from the station.
Since the northbound tunnel (the Boulevard Line) was not opened until 1917, the new station was initially only served by trains on the westbound lines, and the old station continued to serve the trains on the northbound lines for a period. With the opening of the first double track of the Boulevard line on December 1, 1917, the direct connection with Østerport station was established. Now trains along the line from Copenhagen to Elsinore could continue directly to the new central station, just as trains along the Klampenborg Line were diverted via Østerport from the previous route from Hellerup via Nørrebro to the second station. However, it was not until the opening of the second double track of the Boulevard line on October 1, 1921 that trains on the Copenhagen to Hillerød line from Hillerød were diverted through the tunnel. The old station could thus finally be permanently closed.
The station was overhauled in 1980. Escalators and lifts were established to the platforms, and the station concourse, which was originally split into arrival, departure, and freight sections, was redone completely. The station was overhauled again from 2004 to 2008. This overhaul replaced the roof, lowered platforms 3 to 6 to international standards and lengthened them. The towers and the bridge over the platforms, upon which the main station building is placed, were reconditioned.
The station was designed by Danish architect Heinrich Wenck, who was head architect of the Danish State Railways from 1894 to 1921. The station is designed in National Romantic style, a Nordic architectural style that was part of the National Romantic movement during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and which is often considered to be a form of Art Nouveau.
The prominent materials are brick, slate and granite, and a host of decorative details have been added. Inspired by Herholdt's railway station, Wenck also used a wooden arch construction both in the two departure and arrival halls and in the 6 arches over the platforms. It was probably just as much a stylistic choice, since Wenck rarely used cast iron. However, the entire railway station's foundation, basement and the platform that support the railway station site are made of reinforced concrete.
Wenck's building is a gesamtkunstwerk, where the architect has drawn all the details; right from the Bornholm tiles, benches, the large chandeliers, of which 12 pieces originally hung (2 are set up in the hall, 2 others are found at Østerport Station), the kiosks, wrought iron signs with neat writing, door handles and brass signs with DSB logo and stained glass windows with city coats of arms from Danish cities.
The station has 7 platforms and 13 tracks. The platforms begin under the main passenger hall (and at least the S-train section, two platforms with a total of four S-train tracks, of the station can be said to begin as an underground station). A hotel (Astoria) is built above the S-train tracks in the Northern end, but the remaining tracks are uncovered below street level. (Open areas between tunnel sections were necessary to have during the era of steam trains, while the S-trains always have been electrical). In the opposite (platform) end, all platforms are covered with the typical railway arched roof. This roof is shorter than the platforms, but all tracks remain below street level and can also be accessed from the street Tietgensgade.
In addition to the original 6 island-platforms and their 12 tracks, has one additional track constructed much later. The single spare track, called track 26, was initially built for trains to southern Sweden, while Malmö C still was a terminus. It has later occasionally been used for express trains to or from Sweden or to or from Norway. After the introduction of border controls and mandatory identity checks for travel to Sweden this track was fenced and used for X2000 and intercity trains to Sweden. The extra track 26 is located 200 metres (660 ft) south of the main building and is reachable only by walking along the platform for track 4 and 5 or from a staircase from the Tietgensgade street.
The station also services the Copenhagen S-train network, but the S-train system in Copenhagen doesn't use any kind of hub at all. It is an urban transit which differs from most Metro systems mainly by being a type of railway. At the station are two platforms with four tracks that are used by the S-trains only. All other trains usually use the other four platforms and eight tracks.
The main concourse also functions as a marketplace where fresh fruit sellers, newsstands, a post office, ATMs, currency exchanges, hamburgers, coffee shops, restaurants and pubs can all be found. There is also a travel center for information, a police station, and windows for the in-person sale of tickets, along with access to toilets. Shower rooms are also available for a smaller fee.
Copenhagen Central Station provides Copenhagen with Intercity and Express trains across Denmark, as well as services to several international destinations.
Regional trains (stops at major stations within the Greater Copenhagen area) connect the main parts of Zealand to the capital. Veolia Transport trains on the Øresundståg regional rail network depart to southern and western Sweden every 20 minutes.
From 29 September 2019 the Central station is also served by the Copenhagen Metro network's line M3 (in service 24/7), which is a circular line with 17 stations. The station is also served by the M4 line, linking the Nordhavn and Sydhavn districts and serve as an interchange between the Sydhavn extension and the M3.
All public transport within Greater Copenhagen are divided into close to 100 ticket fare zones. The Central station is located in fare zone 1, which together with zones 2 and 3 constitute Copenhagen municipality and the "enclave" of Frederiksberg municipality. As the cheapest single ticket always is valid in two zones, a single ticket bought at the station is valid within the entire city centre and its inner boroughs. A ticket to Copenhagen Airport Kastrup, however, demands the payment for three zones since it is located in zone 4. A special ticket fare system exists between the Copenhagen local traffic area and the most southern part of Sweden, Skåne county.
The station needs more capacity following the opening of the Copenhagen–Ringsted Line on 31 May 2019. The Danish Ministry of Transport has started planning of an extension: proposals include a four-track terminal station on a bridge over the present tracks, or in a tunnel under them.
Copenhagen Central Station is used as a location at 1:12:36 in the 1975 Olsen-banden film The Olsen Gang on the Track. Egon (Ove Sprogøe) hides a suitcase in the luggage storage at Copenhagen Central Station in The Olsen Gang Outta Sight (1977) and the lost luggage department is also used as a location later in the same film.
- Nørreport Station has a larger passenger throughput if urban S-train and Metro services are included.
- The first railway line in the Danish Monarchy was the Kiel-Altona railway line in the Duchy of Holstein which had been completed three years earlier. However, Holstein was later lost to the Kingdom of Prussia after the Second Schleswig War in 1864.
- Trains on the Coast Line between Copenhagen and Elsinore, which opened in 1897, terminated at Copenhagen East station (now: Østerport station) until 1917.
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- "Travelling in Denmark". DSB. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
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- Flindt Larsen 1994, p. 6-7.
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- "Film 7 Olsen banden på sporet / Die Olsenbande stellt die Weichen". olsenbande-homepage.de (in German). Retrieved 5 October 2017.
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- Moe, Steffen; Birch, Søren; Olsen, Cyril; Grontmij; Public Arkitekter (2011). Historien om et succesfuldt renoveringsprojekt : Københavns Hovedbanegård projekt Kh 08 (in Danish). Copenhagen: Grontmij; Public Arkitekter. ISBN 9788798935049.
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- Poulsen, John (1986). Københavns banegårde: København H. 1. december 1911-1986 (in Danish). Roskilde: Bane Bøger. ISBN 87-88632-14-8.
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- Poulsen, John; Larsen, Morten Flindt (2009). S-banen 1934-2009 (in Danish). Roskilde: Bane Bøger. ISBN 978-87-91434-20-4.
- Raabyemagle, Hanne; Vitus Nielsen, Poul (1991). "Fredningsværdier i dansk jernbanearkitektur". Fabrik og Bolig (in Danish). 2.
- Vibæk, Jens (1989). "Debatten om Københavns 3. hovedbanegård 1864-1911". Historiske Meddelelser om København (in Danish). Copenhagen: Copenhagen Municipality. ISBN 87-89457-00-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Københavns Hovedbanegård.|
- (in Danish) København H at dsb.dk
- (in English) Official Site: Information and tickets
- (in Danish) Banedanmark – government agency responsible for maintenance and traffic control on most of the Danish railway network
- (in Danish) DSB – largest Danish train operating company
- (in Danish) Danske Jernbaner – website with information on railway history in Denmark