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Woman surrounded by people at Stockholm central station.

High speed railway

Within a foreseeable future, Sweden will have its first high-speed railway. After years of discussions and investigations, there is now wide majority support for a large investment, which also includes new housing and improved public transport.

This will be the largest infrastructure project conducted in Sweden in a generation: a society transformation as great as when the main lines were drawn through the country in the 1800s. The overall descriptions of the upcoming investment into a high-speed railway between the metropolitan regions of Sweden indicate a great boost for Swedish infrastructure. The goal is for these high-speed railways to be completed around 2035.

Shorter travel times

Travel times will be significantly shortened, which is one of the explicit gains of this initiative. The end goal is to make it possible to travel between Stockholm and Göteborg in two hours, and between Stockholm and Malmö in two and a half hours. At the same time, capacity on the existing main lines will be freed up for freight transports.

The new high-speed railway requires new technology and a new construction standard, which allows a maximum speed of 320 kilometres per hour. There are many challenges ahead. In addition to the new technology in regard to the construction, a new type of vehicle will be required; one which can drive at such a high speed while still maintaining comfort and operational reliability.

Parts of these new railways are already well underway in terms of planning, such as the Göteborg-Borås route and the "Eastern Link" between Järna and Linköping. The Swedish Transport Administration is also currently investigating alternative routes between Linköping-Borås and Jönköping-Malmö. Later in the autumn, the Swedish Transport Administration will present its collective assessment of social effects and benefits, and hand this over to the National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure. The National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure has been commissioned to provide a final proposal to the Government regarding routes, stations and funding.

New ways to construct

It will not be possible to construct the high-speed railway in the same manner that the existing railway was built. The curves cannot be as sharp, and it requires a different structural strength. One alternative could be to build parts of the railway on raised bridges to reduce the barrier effect, this has been done in various countries in Asia. Currently, Trafikverket is conducting a study together with The Swedish Construction Federation about different production methods spedifically for the Hässleholm–Lund stretch.

The collective investment also entails an increase in housing construction in the three metropolitan regions of Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö, improved public transport in the cities, better bike paths and a new link to Denmark. It will significantly increase accessibility and make it easier to travel between different cities for housing, studies and work.