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Löfven pledges billions to 'get railways working'

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Social Democrat representatives at the campaign on Monday. Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT
10:12 CEST+02:00
The Social Democrat party has announced plans to nationalize maintenance of Swedish railways - and invest ten billion kronor more than the ruling government.

"This is an election promise which will give hundreds of thousands of Swedes a better start to their day," the Social Democrat party announced on Monday.

The party promises to outdo the Alliance and stake huge sums on railway maintenance - ten billion kronor ($1.4 billion) more than what the government has already promised for the next ten years.

"We cannot wait another 20 or 30 years for the railways to start working," Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven said on Monday, at the campaign presentation at Stockholm Central Station.  

Löfven said he also wants to put a freeze on the railway fees that rail operators are required to pay for the use of tracks in Sweden. 

"It's a bit embarrassing to raise these fees when rail traffic doesn't work," said Löfven.   

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The party also said that the new investment would create many work opportunities on the railways. The maintenance programme would be financed in part by a road wear-and-tear fee the party also wants to implement, a fee which would mainly affect heavy vehicles. 

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