Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beginners Guide to Copenhagen Train System

I attended VMworld Europe last week, in Copenhagen, Denmark and had a great time.  Part of this was using the excellent system of trains to get around.  In the process I learned a few key insights that I wanted to share for others that might be using the trains in Copenhagen for the first time.  If others reading this are more knowledgeable please add comments (or if you find errors let me know about that too).

There are actually three different types of trains that operate in Copenhagen.  If you get a city pass, you can ride any of them while remaining in the Copenhagen area.  The three train types are the Metro, S-Train, and Regional Trains.  The Metro is run by a different company than the S-Train and regional trains, and hence they have separate websites.

The Metro currently has two lines - M1 and M2 - which both share Vanlose as the end of the line to the west, but diverge at the Christianshaven stop to end at Vestamager for M1 and Lufthavnen for M2.

The S-Train (or S-Tog in Danish) is the other commuter train system in Copenhagen.  It has what appears to be at least seven different lines, that are color coded.  There is a big "S" sign that marks which platforms are for the S-Train.

The regional trains go to areas beyond Copenhagen and is what you take to go over into Sweden or up to Helsingor for example.  This is also what I rode from the Airport to the Kobenhaven H station, and later from Kobenhaven H to Malmo C station in Sweden.

This map is the best one I found. It shows all three trains and stations.  It's from a travel blog site.  I think that it is the best because the Metro is run by a different company than the S-Tog and regional trains.  So it took an independent 3rd party to put everything together.

You can transfer between the different train types, you just need to make sure you have the proper ticket.  They do check people for tickets and they do hand out fines to people that do not have a ticket - I saw this happen twice in the week I was in Copenhagen.

There were always very helpful people in the ticket offices and on the platforms, at the big stations, that were happy to help me understand which platform and which train to take.  It was also very nice that they all spoke English.  If you aren't sure what you are doing - just ask somebody.


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