Sweden To Get Next-Gen High-Speed Trains

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sj200 high speed trains swedenApologies if you’re a high-speed rail fan living in the US — I assume this story is going to depress you… while also exciting you. Sweden has just ordered electrical systems for 36 “next-generation” high-speed trains from ABB*. The cost of this deal was $200 million, but SJ, Sweden’s state-owned rail operator, is actually investing $510 million into the project in total. 26 SJ2000 trains will be used. The SJ2000 trains were designed in the 1980s, but these are getting a 21st century update.

“The first retrofitted train will be delivered in 2015. After successful testing and evaluation, the remainder of the trains will be built incrementally through 2019. Disassembly and assembly will be done in Sweden together with a local partner,” ABB writes.

While it may not be a major, obvious trend in the US, train travel is growing globally. Comfortable, efficient, and fast high-speed trains are a key reason why.

sj2000 high speed trains abb”The need and demand for environmentally friendly and comfortable travel will keep increasing. Passenger train journeys went up by 59 percent from 1997 to 2010. All signs point to a further strong increase, not least in terms of business travel as companies live up to their sustainability commitments,” said Crister Fritzson, CEO of SJ. “This initiative will enable SJ to offer the most comfortable train journeys on the main inter-city lines in Sweden for a long time ahead.”

Interestingly, ABB actually has a history with these trains: “The SJ 2000 train carriages were built by one of ABB’s predecessor firms, ASEA,” ABB writes. “The train is one of the world’s best in its class in terms of comfort, space and service. It is the only train in Sweden with specially designed basket tilting that keeps passengers comfortable while traveling at high speed along many curved sections of the Swedish rail network.”

With a strong foot in the high-speed train, solar, EV, and energy efficiency markets, ABB is in a very good position to benefit from the widespread and highly needed drive for modern solutions that don’t fry our climate.

*Full disclosure: I write for ABB Conversations. That said, I wouldn’t write about a story on CleanTechnica unless I really thought it deserved coverage, and just to be clear, this article wasn’t sponsored in any way.

Keep up to date with the hottest high-speed train news and commentary here on CleanTechnica, and subscribe to our EV newsletter or overall cleantech newsletter to never miss a story!

Image Credit: ABB

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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3 thoughts on “Sweden To Get Next-Gen High-Speed Trains

  • This headlne is very misleading. It makes it seem like there has been an investment in the next generation high speed trains. What really happened is that the plans on getting high speed trains have been put on hold indefinitely and instead of getting new trains the old ones got refurbished instead of scraped.

    So a better headline would be “Sweden keeps old slow trains instead of investing in the next generation high speed trains”.

    • These are old trains, but not slow. I suspect this is a very prudent decision to upgrade existing equipment. The geography of Sweden demands high acceleration in ways few countries need, so their boutique requirements are hard to meet with many off-the-shelf designs. Amtrak borrow one of these sets in 1993 for a demonstration along the NEC, and it was well liked by Amtrak and the passengers who ride it.

      • They are the same slow trains as when they were new 25 years ago. Still 160-200 km.

        There has been a lot of discussion in Sweden about getting high-speed rail and trains (300+ km/h) and the need to upgrade and improve the infrastructure especially since a lot of the tracks run at full capacity. So it’s very disappointing that they are sticking with the old slow ones making the bare minimum investment to keep them running.

        It’s like putting lipstick on a pig.

        A comparison on the level of investment is that at the same time one measly 21 km road project in Stockholm is getting 20 times the money as this restoration project of relics.

        There is a short text on the high speed situation in Sweden on wikipedia.

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