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New investment highs in existing Swedish rail infrastructure

10 May 2017  •  Author(s): Björn Westerberg, CEO of ASTOC – the Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies

The increase of rail transport in Sweden has been positive for a long time on an aggregate level and the development has been the strongest in passenger traffic. Since the early-1990s train travel has doubled whereas the corresponding rate of increase in car travellers has been 10-15%. Railway infrastructure developments and investments in new traffic systems have been decisive factors in this growth. Maintenance and re investments, however, have not kept pace with traffic trends and the shortcomings in the rail system are becoming increasingly apparent. Björn Westerberg, CEO of ASTOC – the Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies – details current work and future plans for Sweden’s rail investments. 

New investment highs in existing Swedish rail infrastructure

Efforts to achieve the environmental goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are about to fail if we do not act now. Sweden’s climate target for the transport sector by 2050 means that the net emissions of greenhouse gases must decrease to a level close to zero. Energyefficient vehicles and an increased proportion of renewable fuels can dampen or even reverse the negative trend, but this still won’t be enough. There is an urgent need for us to radically change our entire approach to transport and planning. However, today’s transport system lacks the prerequisites needed to enable a greater shift towards sustainable transport. Capacity shortages in both the road and the rail systems lead to delays, congestion and increased costs. The Government Agency for Transport Analysis concluded in its annual follow-up of the transport policy goals that the transport system does not in any way reach its long-term sustainability goal.

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