Sweden’s fast trains will get even faster

Sweden’s plans to build a high-speed rail network have moved forward with the appointment of a consortium led by Systra and COWI to act as technical consultants on the $3.6bn "Ostlänken" (Eastern Link) project.

The 150km line will consist of a double track between Järna in greater Stockholm and Linköping in the centre of the country.

It is intended to be the first section of a true high-speed network that will connect the country’s urban centres and link up with Copenhagen, in Denmark.

Sweden’s present rail system already operates with 200km/h tilting trains, and there are plans under way to increase this to 250 km/h. 

But the new scheme will be built on the French TGV model, with operating speeds of 320km/h.

This will cut the journey time between Stockholm and Copenhagen to three hours.

The high-speed system will consist of the Ostlänken stretch, which will then split into a western link to Gothenburg and a southern link to Malmö and continental Europe.

Systra is an international infrastructure engineer owned by RATP, which runs the French railway system, and SNCF, which operates its trains. COWI is a Danish consulting engineer.

Work on the line is due to start in 2017 and to be completed in 2028. The work will include the construction of 155 bridges and 27 tunnels with a total length of 20km.

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