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Sweden invests least in railway upkeep: report

TT/Clara Guibourg · 15 Oct 2011, 10:27

Published: 15 Oct 2011 10:27 GMT+02:00

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"This is worse than I thought," said Kristoffer Arvidsson, investigator at Seko, to GP.

"I knew we were bad at railroad maintenance in Sweden, but that we're so extremely bad came as a surprise."

Railroad operations and maintenance receive far below the EU average in Sweden, in relation to the gross national product (GNP). Sweden also invests less than any other EU country in reinvestments.

"Politicians have prioritized big ostentatious projects instead of the crucial maintenance. Gear changes won't get you any votes," commented Arvidsson to GP.

Change may be on the horizon, according to Gunnar Malm, head of the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket).

"Politicians are finally starting to understand what's needed. This spring we received 800 million kronor ($120 million) extra to prepare for winter, and now we're getting another 3.6 billion for increased railroad maintenance and reinvestments," he said to GP.

However, Malm warns that it will take between 7 and 10 years to reach the standard necessary to get trains to run on time.

Seko's report also shows that 67 percent of Swedes no longer trust trains to run on time.

Story continues below…

"Swedish railroads are heavily used and maintenance has been disregarded for decades. That leads to major disruptions," said Gunnar Malm.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:16 October 15, 2011 by Ben5
YES, and SJ, and SL increased the trip fare....

Single trip costs 35 SEK now, and guess what no body is giving sh¤, we still pay and shut up, why you don't find people demonstrating and going to street to say NO, stop this pilfering...

When it comes to the railway service in Sweden, you get the worse service in Europe with a ridiculous high prices...
14:37 October 15, 2011 by Great Scott
Another of the Moderates cut backs to save money. How do you think the rich are getting all of their tax breaks.

What makes you laugh is SJ says it has lots of projects to do, but does not have the people to do them. The reason being they have no money to employ.

Get wise Sweden, get rid of this Moderate skum.
17:02 October 15, 2011 by terriergirl
Swedish rail is still cheaper than UK rail and actually keeps to a timetable. I used the trains in Skane this summer and was very 'chuffed' with them.
17:14 October 15, 2011 by Grokh
maybe because in other countries half the money gets diverted into corrupt peoples pockets?

id assume with the high prices for transportation that the companies would fix the stuff they use...
17:39 October 15, 2011 by Abe L
They don't invest in any infrastructure, Stockholm for one desperately needs it road network capacity doubled if not tripled. Instead of taxing the living hell out of people trying to get to work. Public transportation is utterly sad for people not living smack on in the middle of the city.

SJ is first off simply to expensive. Single trips are usually okayish, but trying to use it for commuting will cost you a big chunk. Specifically because the SJ subscription alone isn't good enough, you have to combine it with SL or some other kind of local transportation. It would be much more attractive and realistic using it for commuting if it was a 1/3 of the price.

You generally can't rely on public transportation sufficiently during any of the winter months to get anywhere on time. While this doesn't seem to be a problem in Norway or Finland, with the same climate. Big thumb downs for buying Chinese trains.

There is no night-time public transportation. The least they could do is have a train every two hours or so between major commuting points and/or cities.

Evening time transportation is just horrible, the schedule is to thin. Try landing after 21:00 at Arlanda and get anywhere by train south of T-Centralen, it's just not possible.

And last connections are horrible. In a lot of locations the SL busses or transportation seems to operate completely independent from SJ. Having your once-an-hour bus leave 1 minute BEFORE your once-an-hour train arrives is just retarded and big demotivating factor for not using the car.

I've said this many times before, the only proper means of public transportation Sweden has to offer is the Arlanda Express. It has a virtually 100% operating schedule, it gets you between it's locations without delay and you never have to wait more then 10 minutes for the next one. However, in that case you simply pay for it's quality.

They should have a look at how things are done in Japan and Hong Kong. These countries/cities have the highest time table accuracy in the world. Where Japan in it's northern parts deals with similar weather conditions.
18:01 October 15, 2011 by erik68
Compared to the UK, Swedish train travel is a friggin dream.
23:20 October 15, 2011 by Svensksmith
Maintenance is not exciting and sexy, so it gets ignored. Time passes and then you have to pay the piper.
23:26 October 15, 2011 by Ben5
Again we can not compare to the UK with all respect, as Sweden introducing itself to be one of the top countries with high quality of life...

I don't see anything high here but the tax and the prices, which are going up continuously...
05:48 October 16, 2011 by Imperor
Ben5: Taxes going up? What planet are you living on? The problem is that our populistic politicians don't give a damn about actually doing any good and only about their "popularity". The trains to Lidingö are to be renovated, because that's where the politicians and their friends live. The rest of us can just suck it!
15:12 October 16, 2011 by Kennethmac2000
Brutto national product? Since when has that been an English term?
15:52 October 16, 2011 by Ben5
@ Imperor, YES dear The Average Swedish tax rate now is 57.77% while it was 57.73% in 2009, and as you know that increase could affect the market, especially with the euro crises on now, and as there is no sign of governmental expenses cut...
07:51 October 17, 2011 by rise
Going by train is too good for the climate and I think that's why... :P
10:30 October 17, 2011 by EtoileBrilliant
@Abe L

"Stockholm for one desperately needs it road network capacity doubled if not tripled" - what planet do you come from? Sweden needs the opposite. get commuters out of cars and onto buses and trains.

If people want live in 200 sq m properties in the burbs, all very well for them. But don't poison my kids in the city by driving to work every day, and then tell the world about all the fresh air your kids get.

Your transportation model is the dinosaur model used in the US. Build properties out of town and expect everyone to drive to work.
19:06 October 17, 2011 by kenny8076
when i moved here i swore i wouldn't buy a car, i lived in D.C. and driving was a nightmare. i told myself im moving to Europe now and all us Americans ever here is how great and affordable trains and public transportation are......... well i got here, and next month is my 2 year mark, i have bought a car 1 month ago. SJ is the worst thing i have seen, i REALLY thought Amtrak was bad, this is ridiculous. a 13 minute trip i regularly take is 55SEK and the bus is the same price, round trip i am spending over 100SEK a day, which is an hours work. so one full hour of my work day is just for commuting..... not to mention delays and cancellations

from Karlstad to stockholm and back last week when i wanted to go for a day trip to sight see was 1100SEK round trip.... LOL you can fly ryan air round trip to most European destinations for that!!!

So i have bought a car and save tons of money driving instead, yes gas is outrageous here, but so is public transportation, at least now i dont have to stand out in the cold and rain or snow and wait for a delayed train...... They leave you no options here....
15:35 October 20, 2011 by nanik

you are absolutely right. i am in a similar commuter condition. it's unreasonably expensive, and the service you get really sucks. SL may be ok, but SJ simply sucks. in winter their service is not reliable in any aspect, as if there were never cold snowy winters in sweden!

also people, check this:


so, supposedly with no inflation, why are we having increased prices all the time here in sweden? not only transportation, but also some food items.

does anybody know if there have been or will be any events to protest these price increases of SL and SJ?

are we really in europe, or in some part of the world where dictators just decide and nobody can interfere?
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