"We want to support regional growth by providing the ideal mobility solution that will ensure the comfort and ease of every passenger’s journey."
Bombardier Transportation has signed a £320m (€368m) deal for 40 high-speed electric multiple unit trains to ease traffic for Västtrafik , the rail operator in Sweden’s second-largest region. The primary operator in Västra Götaland on Sweden’s west coast will also have an option to purchase 60 more should they be required and delivery is expected to take place in 2021. Operating at speeds of up to 125mph (200 kmh) and providing seating for 270 passengers, the four-car trains have been specially adapted to cope with Sweden’s extreme weather conditions, Bombardier says.
The chairman of the board at Västtrafik said that the deal will enable the region to better serve its passengers, the numbers of which have increased hugely since it began operating nearly 20 years ago. “Since Västtrafik was formed in 1999 the ridership by train has more than doubled. We are continuously challenged to meet the target of 135,000 journeys per day,” said Lars Holmin from Västtrafik, who added that the new trains will also contribute to “more attractive journeys” for its customers.
The latest trains from Bombardier have been made possible following a “longstanding partnership” with Västtrafik that involved staff based in depots in Västra Götaland working on the train’s design. “We want to support regional growth by providing the ideal mobility solution that will ensure the comfort and ease of every passenger’s journey,” said Marina Sundman from @BombardierRail.
Sweden’s rail industry was in the spotlight last month after the Scandinavian country’s government committed to a rail project that – if it goes ahead – would see the creation of a new rail corridor connecting Stockholm with Haparanda, on the border with Finland. Also potentially included in the plans is a link with Norway’s oil and gas reserves in the Arctic provinces.
Reliant on help from the EU, the planned route would provide an extension to the 4,677-mile (7,527km) network that stretches from south to north Europe – via various cities across Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway – known as the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor. Activity on that line, which is a cooperative arrangement between operators from those countries to harmonise cross-border connections, began in 2015 and thus far has transported 58 million tonnes of goods.
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