A New Swedish System
Abstract: Instead of investing 145 billion SEK in building a new high speed rail network, much greater value in terms of transport capacity is likely to be found in constructing a new system of tube transport with a travel speed of 600 km/h. The suggested technology does not exist yet. However, research and development is advancing and accepting that a new technology is emerging might be the greatest hurdle to overcome in this process. Looking at the last 200 years of transport infrastructure history gives ample evidence of the major breakthroughs achieved in terms of capacity, travel time and comfort. None of these seem to indicate that we have now reached the ‘end of the line’. High speed rail, on the other hand, is hardly a new technology. It could be connected to the existing network, but therein also lies one of its disadvantages: it would be burdened by the present system. The need to find new ways for the Swedish infrastructure is paramount. Indeed, there is something of a capacity crisis at present, which is likely to increase in the foreseeable future. Alleviating this crisis by mere tweaks and adjustments of the present systems might not be nearly enough. Also, the present trend, with increasing amounts of transportation, is nowhere near what would be needed to meet the climate goals. Lund – Helsingborg would be an ideal place to build the first Swedish tube transport system, as the cities are far apart enough to make the difference in travel time evident, going from 30 minutes to 5. Being a country that prides itself in being at the forefront of research and development, Sweden should take a front seat in taking this quantum leap in terms of transport technology.
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