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Opposition announces high-speed rail plans

Opposition announces high-speed rail plans

Published: 26 Apr 2010 14:09 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Apr 2010 14:09 GMT+02:00

The left-green opposition parties have agreed to invest heavily in rail and public transport if they win the election in September, including the construction of high-speed railway lines.

"We want to increase overall investment in railways and public transport by around 120 billion kronor ($16.7 billion) by 2021... Meaning that we will double rail investment during the period in comparison to the government's plan," write the leaders of the Social Democrat, Green and Left Parties in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Monday.

The proposal includes high-speed railway links between Stockholm and Linköping, and between Gothenburg and Borås via Landvetter airport, the start of construction for the Northern Bothnia Line between Umeå and Luleå, double track expansion on the East Coast Line between Sundsvall and Gävle, and an expansion to four tracks with a tunnel under Sundbyberg outside Stockholm.

The parties also announced an intention to bring forward plans for the West Link rail tunnel, the extension of the West Coast Railway extension through Varberg and expansion of the southern trunk line network.

The opposition coalition describes its ambitious and expensive plans as the largest since the late 1800s, but despite the cost they also project no reduction in the framework for road investment that the government has already proposed.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:37 April 26, 2010 by saar
It is cheaper to drive from Malmö to Stockolm than to take X2000. I took a plane from Copenhagen to Stockholm for 400SEK. X2000 cost three-four times more. Plus I always feel sick on X2000. Not to mention that X2000 never arrives on time.
10:58 April 26, 2010 by crofab
Sounds like a great plan. While it may still be cheaper to drive than take the train, rising fuel costs will change that eventually. Also, not all of us have the luxury of owning cars. The bus is still a good option, but it would be great to have a speedy option like this.
11:31 April 26, 2010 by Luckystrike
Just goes to show that politicians still know nothing about what the people need...
12:00 April 26, 2010 by miss79
yep very good!
12:15 April 26, 2010 by Nemesis
This is a good plan. It will be good to see it come to fruition.

Now will they please stop subsidising flying and make them pay tax on fuel like everyone else.

The x2000 costs are insane. They are stupid. It should not be more expensive to get a train from Malmö to Stockholm. There is no excuse for that.

Also when getting lan cards, instead of having them cover one lan, it needs to be made possible to cover more than one lan, so as to encourage people to travel by train and mix more freely.
12:55 April 26, 2010 by svenskdod
This is one seriously excellent idea. In the last 10 years the amount of cars on the road in Sweden has skyrocketed. This has to stop.

They could include extending the T-Banna in Stockholm from Mörby centrum to at least Täby. The new road they built cost so much money whereas the rail option would have been better for the environment.

The busses need to be changed to Hydrogen fuel cells too. Germany has already started with this and it can be done with a minimal amount of change to the infrastructure.

This is a good move and makes them more appealing in my eyes. I just cannot bring myself to vote for Mona.... She has failed too much, and would bring the country to ruin with her and the greens immigration policies.
13:01 April 26, 2010 by Audrian
Re saar

The price for fuel is not its competitive price. It is administratively fixed at low price (reflecting US pressure on main producers). It encourages over consumption, and accelerates the depletion of petroleum. According to US military (the highest consumer in the world) has reported that there will be a serious shortage of fuel by 2015.

Flying does not reflect full cost of flying. It does not include cost of pollution and the opportunity cost of fuel and depreciation. Sweden is rich in water power. A forward looking policy in Sweden should seek of reducing the country's dependence on fuel. Encourage rail travel!
13:14 April 26, 2010 by cbeynch
Which social programs do they propose to cut in order to finance this? Or do they have their eyes set on yet another tax hike?
13:25 April 26, 2010 by CarlBlack
@ Audrian: The price for fuel is fully competitive - check the huge profits of oil producing companies and of oil producing countries. Furthermore you are paying heavy taxes on it which in fact double the price and cover the external prize more than enough. If trains cannot compete with car travel cost despite this fact, than something is wrong and I bet the problem is the lack of competition on rail network, and that's the problem of many European countries, in Germany it's even worse.

Sorry, but if a thing is good, you don't need to encourage its use. But if it performs poorly compared to other means, than it should be optimized first.
14:55 April 26, 2010 by sendia
costs are high possibly because of poor management, they can't see ways to cut cost other than firing people!
21:43 April 26, 2010 by Venturisection
X2000 is fine and every time i've been on it its been on time even when there was snow :D

Alas the planes tend to suck I hate Ryan Air and the fact i have to pay extra to get out to the airport etc and if I go SAS I still have that problem and they are rude.

X2000 staff have been quite nice :D

As for being greener. 43.3% of energy is renewable the real question is how much energy is used by these high speed trains per person? Also they are crap for transporting bagage. I haven't seen anything that is remotely like a plane.

I have been on the Eurostar now that goes much quicker and is kind of a step up but the carriages seem shabby

The best by a million miles are the Japanese Shinkansen, those absolutely put planes to shame, extremely quick, extremely smooth, extremely silent and plent of space for bagage! Best trains in the world! X2000 is a bit rubbish in comparison.

Its a pity it costs loads and theres no way to just jump on, cars give flexibility public transport tends to remove that altogether which is the reason that public transport can never replace your own car. FREEDOM!!!
02:13 April 27, 2010 by millionmileman
Trains are wonderful, except for one thing: You have to have an extremely high population density to make them profitable. The size of Sweden is far too large for the 9 million population to have any profitability. In other words you will have a black hole, sucking-up hard earned taxpayers' money.

We have a similar problem here, in Wisconsin for the 5.5 million souls who will not be riding the train and no amount of taxation will pay for the upkeep which is beyond any hope of being obtained.

Even England which has one of the most dense population on earth, does not have any profitable routes.

Why is it that all these train schemes come from the left? It always reminds me of the scene from Dr Zhivago, where they all had to experience travel together. It would be unfair for someone to come and go when they want, in what they want. That is called freedom.
09:17 April 27, 2010 by americanska
Nemisis - apples and oranges. The european governments just herd people onto public transport by putting taxes on fuel. Do you really think airlines should double or triple their fuel costs with taxes? Do you not think it would be better that NO ONE gets subsidized and EVERYONE pays the same level of taxes on fuel? Let the forms of transportation compete in reality.... trains will lose.

The trains in Sweden are subsidized using fuel tax money. If that wasn't the case then no one would be using the train. Yet you hate the airline companies and want them to start paying for the governments train system as well??
12:11 April 27, 2010 by Marc the Texan
High speed rail in Spain (AVE) is cost effective and profitable AND runs on time. Yeah, Spain! Why can't they promise that first?
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