GES223 - Copenhagen Metro
What was supposed to be a weekend city break with the girlfriend, became something different when I arrived. I had looked into the possibilities of what it was like and possibilities before I left. Including contacting the only person that had explored it from what I could see on UER. He had done it during live service without any urban camouflage. The currently two metro lines in Copenhagen are fully automated, trains, signals, etc. The trains have no drivers which means unless there's an official on board, you won't be seen by 'the man', but equally there's no one to pull a break if you're stood in the tracks taking a shot. I worked out the route I fancied, and with the ever helpful google streetmaps, it looked all to easy. Being so technically advanced, I assumed it would have pir measures and track cameras or something. All things waiting to trip me up.
As we arrived in the city, the first thing we did was grab a metro train across town, as we did so, we went past the point I planned to enter, and then get too. The system is pretty dull to be honest, just boring grey/beige concrete. When riding the trains you can sit right at the front, and scope out any problems easily. And there just didn't seem to be any. So different to say Beijing, Paris or London. Confident it would work, I settled in to enjoying the overly priced products Copenhagen had to offer along it's cold, empty but architecturally attractive streets.
On the last night, I set the alarm for early O'clock, and woke myself and the girlfriend up with screaming Creedence Clearwater Revival. It does the job. And changed into the required ninja attire. Stalking out of the 4* hotel lobby looking highly suspicious, I got into the car parked on rough ground across from the hotel, too cheap to pay the exorbitant charge for the privilege of using the hotel's basement parking. Details punched into the Sat Nav, and I set off across the empty streets to my target destination. I drove over a pavement into a parking lot, and put the car amongst others. A few apartment blocks stood near and overlooking the access point, but there was zip, zero, nadda signs of life, no traffic on the road either. I went to look through the skylights of the station, which conveniently showed the indicator boards, but oddly they all said something in Danish, rather than destinations and times as normal. As I went to the station entrance, I saw that the gates were down. I thought the system was supposed to be 24/7? At just after half 2, it appeared closed. Good for me, but bad for live train lights trail shots.
I hopped over a low wall, and was running down the walkways that sit conveniently on the edge of the tracks. I got to the top of the intersection and grabbed a few shots like this.
And closer in. The white lights in the background are from the station.
The first and only real obstacle was passing a station. They only had two cameras, that pointed up and down the passenger section. I wasn't sure if they could see through the glass to the tracks. I opted to just bend double and leg it. This being a zero clearance section, I didn't want to meet a train here.
Once through the station, it was just a case of 500m to the junction. I started to walk along the safety walkway on the right of the tracks, but the slabs were noisy to walk on, as was the lower walkway slabs by the rails. So i just walked and jogged along the middle of the tracks. Stopping every now and again to listen for trains. But I'd been in the system 20mins now, and no sign of anything. The square-ish lights, lower than the long strip lights on the wall, are fire escape exit indicator lights, which helpfully tell you how far until you can escape in 10m increments.
The 3 fire escape exit options, for those looking to escape, not far from the junction. Assuming they were alarmed, I didn't want to risk investigating them.
I finally reached the junction, and quickly set about getting a few shots. There was nowhere to hide, so I was constantly on edge, even though I also felt confident it was out of service.
Turning around from the above shot, the two tunnels merge into one, and head off around the bend to the next station not far away. I packed up, and headed back the way I'd come. As I'd walked about 80m down the tunnel, I heard an increasing rumbling noise, coming from behind me. I crouched on the tracks near the fire escape exits, and hoped for the best. The train whizzed down the other tracks and the sound diminished. It didn't sound like a regular three carriage train though.
I ran/jogged down the tracks, and bent double through the station again, and walked up to the intersection area. I felt confident I was out of the tunnels now. Unfortunately the confidence was short lived, as lights lit up the far tunnel and track and a distinct rumbling noise could be heard. I hopped onto the trackside walkway, and ran up to my access point. The train crossed the intersection as i almost literally dived over the wall, hiding behind a gate as the train went by. I looked from behind the gate, and it was a single carriage service train. The driver at the back of the carriage seemed oblivious to any change, so I assumed I had gotten away just in time. Undeterred I set off for another bit of metro I fancied a look at.
Not far away, I parked up and walked over to a low fence that came up to my lower thighs. No one about, I stepped over, and walked down the metal stairs to the tracks. My progress was impeded by a sheet metal gate. I couldn't see a way around it, so did some monkey like manoeuvres to get down to the track. I then checked the door from the other side, and saw my first security feature, some contacts. Meaning the gate was alarmed. If i needed to rush, I could make use of it, but would rather not so that others can follow. I checked about for any security measures, but again found nothing. In the pic below you can see the low fence across the top of the ceiling.
A reverse shot of the above, looking up a cutting that leads to another station.
I wandered down to the cylindrical tunnel for a look and a quick picture. I folded my tripod and walked back up the track. As I did so a passenger train came hurtling down the tracks. Shocked that at 4.30 service had resumed, i had no option than to lean against the wall and act casual, hiding my camera and tripod behind me. There was only one person on the train, and he had his head over his knees looking at the floor. I felt lucky, and headed back to the safety of the stairs.
I had been keen to get some light trail shots, and with service up and running, I looked for some nice angles. This looks into the cylindrical tunnel I'd just walked up to and back from.
And a final one looking up the tracks into the cutting, having a remote trigger comes in really handy. Although stood with a small remote trigger with a metal antennae sticking out of it. I did feel very self concious. What If I was a fruitcake with chaos in mind. What if at that moment an elite sniper squad were looking over the cutting wall. I put the remote into my pocket.
I had plans for that evening, so didn't want to stay out too late, I packed up and left with some more monkey antics and casually walked up the stairs, stepping over the fence. A sense of amazement at how easy things are out here.Other areas of the city were covered in the usual unsightly hideous graffiti, yet this system is utterly clean. See it before things change.