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Sweden in push for faster trains

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15:22 CET+01:00
The government has tasked the Swedish Rail Administration (Banverket) with analyzing the conditions for high speed rail in Sweden.

High speed trains are capable of speeds over 300 kilometres per hour.

The Rail Administration will examine the market and social economic conditions for building high speed rail tracks in Sweden (Götalandsbanan and Europabanan), said the Department of Enterprise, Energy, and Communications (Näringsdepartamentet) in a statement.

The current line of X2000 express trains travel over existing tracks and can achieve higher speeds because the cars tilt inwards when the train rounds a curve.

“Trains have an extremely important role in the transition away from fossil-fuel intensive to climate-friendly travel. With today's decision, we're taking another step in the train's development by looking at how high speed rail can help connect Sweden,” said Minister of Infrastructure Åsa Torstensson in a statement.

The Europabanan is a proposed high speed railway connecting Stockholm with Hamburg via Helsingborg and Copenhagen. The Götalandsbanen would run between Stockholm and Gothenburg via Jönkoping.

The two lines are referred to collectively as the European Corridor.

The high speed tracks will be capable of supporting train speeds between 300 and 360 kilometres per hour, whereas the X2000 reaches speeds of roughly 210 kilometres per hour.

At the same time, Swedish rail operator SJ's Regina-class trains are being modified to allow them to reach speeds of 250 kilometres per hour.

The Rail Administration supported building the Götalandsbanen by 2025 in its most recent planning statement, which covers the years 2004 through 2015. But the agency asserted that the Europabanen, allowing for train speeds up to 350 kilometres per hour, would not be built “in the foreseeable future.”

The agency will also make an assessment about the future use of low-trafficked rail networks.

“For me, railways are really important and with today's decision we're set to review all the possibilities for increasing engagement and ridership,” said Torstensson.

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