Metro safety compromised

An unreleased report concerning the safety in Copenhagen's Metro system warns against disaster

Safety of the Metro in Copenhagen is threatened by sewage and sea water that seep into the mostly underground rail network and corrode tracks and cables, according to a report leaked by Metro security employees to daily newspaper Extra Bladet.

Metro management has yet to publish the February report which provides a point-by-point description of a number of disasters waiting to happen to the automatic light-rail network.

The leaking water could lead to the tracks breaking loose because of corroded rail ties. Among other things, loose rails could cause the trains to tip.

Water can also paralyse the Metro's safety system that transmits steering information and car location to a central computer through cables in the tunnels.

Anne Grethe Foss, manager of the Ørestad Development Corporation responsible for the Metro, said that it is normal for water to enter the tunnels.

'We have a monitoring programme that regularly checks all installations. It is very undramatic and there is no safety problem,' said Foss.

Meanwhile, the report also says the walls of the underground system have also shown signs of severe corrosion which could result in them collapsing.

Torben Johansen, technical director of the Ørestad Corporation, dismisses the report.

'I believe that the problems are being taken care of. There are regular inspections of the system. Also if there is a problem, trains stop automatically. There are no safety problems,' Johansen told Extra Bladet.

Leif Funch, deputy safety chief of the National Rail Authority, asked the Ørestad Corporation to publicly release the report on Tuesday morning.

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