SWERIG – growing at home and abroad
18 September 2014 • Author(s): Rolf Alm and Magnus Davidsson from SWERIG – the Swedish Rail Industry Group
The passenger and freight traffic utilisation of the Swedish railway is growing fast, and so is the country’s railway industry. The former publicly-run railway sector in Sweden is deregulated and this has created new companies, who – under competition – have developed efficient and reliable solutions. SWERIG – the Swedish Rail Industry Group – has worked for 25 years with the companies in this sector and conducts different kinds of export supporting activities. Rolf Alm and Magnus Davidsson from the Group explain how Sweden is investing in its own railway systems as well as the importance of growing the export of Swedish railway technology and services.
Sweden is a growing country, with both demographic changes and economic stability. Additionally, a growing trend is urbanisation, probably among the strongest in Europe. And Swedish exports of industrial, steel and forest products remain strong. This has led to a significant increase in rail traffic – train travel has almost doubled in 20 years. Investments in the infrastructure, however, have not kept up and the tracks are now over-crowded for many of the most important routes/distances. Sweden has an economy with a relatively strong state budget which means the country now has the possibility to make major investments in new infrastructure as well as upgrading the existing railway. There is presently a political unity on the subject, and the government has recently decided on a national infrastructure investment plan of 522 billion SEK (approximately €55 billion) for the period 2014-2025 for all modes of transport.