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Sweden mulls new high-speed rail lines

TT/David Landes · 14 Sep 2009, 12:23

Published: 14 Sep 2009 12:23 GMT+02:00

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According to the findings of a commission investigating the future of high speed rail in Sweden, building the new lines between the Swedish capital and the next two most populous cities would cost about 125 billion kronor ($17.6 billion), with the state financing about half of the cost.

Additional funding would come from local authorities and regions through which the lines would pass, as well as from the European Union and income from ticket sales.

Tracks in place today, which can carry trains traveling at speeds exceeding 200 kilometres per hour, are unable to accommodate modern high speed trains, which can reach speeds of 320 kilometres per hour.

Trains traveling at those speeds would halve travel time between Stockholm and Gothenburg to about two hours, while the time to travel from Stockholm to Malmö would drop to about two and a half hours.

“Building high-speed rail lines would create conditions for an entirely new transportation system with better options for the effective transport of goods and people, while at the same time altering the conditions governing where one chooses to work and live,” said lead investigator Gunnar Malm, head of the Arlandabanan rail line connecting Stockholm to Arlanda airport, in a statement.

Malm estimates that the new high-speed rail lines could be operational between 2023 and 2025.

Story continues below…

The commission looking into high speed rail was appointed by the government in December 2008, and presented its findings to infrastructure minister Åsa Torstensson on Monday.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:28 September 14, 2009 by glamshek
Thats absolutely needed. It would address the future. The transport swiftness can be adifference in future business and Sweden being a very modern country should not lag behind
13:57 September 14, 2009 by kaze
Why not Uppsala?

It'd be much cheaper, much easier and much more useful.
15:22 September 14, 2009 by seekingtruth
Um, Stockholm - Uppsala takes just 40-50 min with regional trains.

High speed trains would probably only save 10-15 min. That's not very impressive to be honest ^^;
19:26 September 14, 2009 by byke
Based on the landscape of Sweden and the general maintenance of rail in sweden, I cant imagine wanting to go to Malmö by a train similar to the German ICE or Thalys style train.

German trains are great and dont have that puke factor that the swedish x2000 is commonly associated with (aka tilting trains)

And even if you get to Malmö fast, you are still stuck if you want to go to Germany by the super slow Danish EC trains which take forever between CPH to Hamburg .....
20:30 September 14, 2009 by MacRonald
Or build the Maglev. In hour from Stockholm to Malmö. Should be great.
21:38 September 14, 2009 by Gwrhyr
We do need newer, faster trains up here. but like MacRonald said, it would be much nicer if they were the latest cutting edge, but any update would be good. The train system in the Netherlands was just really, really convenient and wonderful, but more faciliated through the small size of the country. Making Sweden more convenient would only seriously boost quality of life here. The Uppsala person is right, they should not only build new trains to Gothenburg and Malmö, but also up north, but they won't because that's too expensive.

In any case, transportation infrastructure is a win-win, definitely not a waste of money. Just get Denmark to update their trains and Scandinavia would have taken a HUGE leap towards European integration, as scary as that may sound, in this case it's not so scary though.
23:07 September 14, 2009 by dsclimb
125 billion kronor for at best a 50% time saving. It's not cheap. How do they decide if it is worth it? Will the new trains run cheaper? probably not, it will take more energy to propel them up those higher speeds.
20:56 September 15, 2009 by aaww
must be kidding.

1) sweden is a poor country, who would ever fund these kind of new projects, when this project is about to start, airline will dump their prices between stockholm and gothenburg, which will make the project looks unvaluable.

2) built by 2023 means long before this track is finished, it's already an old and slow technology, french and chinese has been updating their high speed to be able to run at 350km today.
22:27 September 16, 2009 by kenny8076
with all do respect "AAWW"

1) it states in the article how it would be funded, sweden is a poor country in comparison to what? the US? England? obviously sweden is not as poor as you think considering these trains are in negotiations

2) built by 2023 doesnt mean anything as far as technology for the trains, 2023 is when the tracks and stations will all be built, how do you know they dont start engineering and building the trains and cars untill 2020? when they are up to date on the technology of the trains?

wheres the rational and thinking in sweden? is college free there?
11:56 September 17, 2009 by aaww
To kenny8076

1) yea, they stated in the article that european union will be paying a part of it, and you believe that statement?

poor country means by GDP in purchase power parity, sweden is ranking below 30, which means that sweden is slightly stronger than ukraine in buying power.

2) 320KM is what they plan and try to finance it at the current budget, and this is the capability of the track not the train itself, even if the train technology by then can speed up to 500km/h, the track will still be the bottleneck.
02:38 September 18, 2009 by kenny8076
"cost about 125 billion kronor ($17.6 billion), with the state financing about half of the cost." so the state finances about HALF

"Additional funding would come from local authorities and regions through which the lines would pass"

like in any other country building such a thing

"as well as from the European Union and income from ticket sales."

dont see them relying soley or even largely on the european union.

and as far as engineering through terrain, im not too concerned. its been done all over the world in worst geographical locations that sweden. the biggest problem would be investers being patient in investing in something that is so far away from making a profit. NO ONE in this decision process is worried about anything but profitability. structurally it can be done.
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