Deep, multi-level subway stations like these aren’t cheap, particularly when outfitted with capital-intensive fully automated trains. Yet pretty much the only bargain I found in a week in Copenhagen? The entirely new, 17-station, 15.5km, dual deep bore tunnel ring line will cost just $3 billion to build. That wouldn’t even pay for the 3.5-station first phase of NYC’s Second Avenue Subway, and only somewhat surpasses the 5-station elevated first phase cost of Dulles Metrorail. It’s not as if safety or accessibility standards, or construction labor, or materials, are any cheaper in Denmark. Never mind that the operating cost of the Copenhagen metro looks negligible compared to US systems; there are no retired drivers drawing lifetime medical benefits, since retiree benefits are the state’s problem and, well, there are no drivers.
Maybe I can gather some hints at TRB this week.