High-Speed Rail Expansion on the Swedish Agenda
Feb. 11, 2008 (EIRNS)After the LaRouche movement in Sweden, EAP, for years has been campaigning for infrastructure corridors and maglev also through Sweden, and five days after the launching of the leaflet by Hussein Askary: "Instead of Financial Bubbles, Build Nuclear Power and Maglev Trains!" there is finally motion. Today Dagens Nyheter has a two-page spread on the building of new rail lines in Sweden for high-speed trains, citing the interest in all political quarters, except LaRouche's.
Sweden in the 1990s had chosen a second-best high-speed system, X2000, with tilting railcars using the existing rail, which were upgraded gradually. The result is that now the rail lines are becoming too crowded to take any expansion. The conclusion, by the railway authorities since two years, is that new rail lines are the only option, and especially new high-speed lines, basically all the way between Stockholm and Malmoe/Copenhagen respectively Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Jan Forsberg, the head of the state rail system, SJ, wants now to catch up as "Sweden is 15-20 years behind." However, what he is looking at, is the newest French model AGV with a top speed of 360 kph. The proposals follow the argumentation from a Professor Bo-Lennart Nelldahl, who in a seminar in Linkoeping in January 2008 presented a vision on how to knock out (for "climate" reasons) the domestic passenger air transport. From his studies he has found out that this can be done, if the train ride takes less than three hours. For this you need more than 300 kph and such an investment pays back whenever it is done, the better the earlier it is done. In this way he calculated from the vision down and not the customary what can we afford, up.
His argumentation now is dominating the Swedish debate. The government Infrastructure Minister Aasa Torstensson now is figuring on whether this can be proposed in the coming infrastructure plan this autumn. Discussing money, she says clearly: "For these kinds of tracks the role of the state is decisive," and goes on to say that yearly budgetary allocation is not enough and that the best guarantee for the projects to be realized is to borrow money.
This is where the campaign can start to have a real financial system.