Workers fix train tracks. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Train authority invests too little in prevention

The Swedish Transport Administration invests too little in preventing problems for Sweden's trains. This has led to too many unnecessary train stoppages and delays, according to train expert Oskar Fröidh from technical college KTH.

It comes down to the Transport Administration's use of private contractors. "The private contractors are not given strong enough incentive to think more long-term and risk just sitting and waiting to take emergency measures," Monica Rupprecht Hjort, head of the investigation on train delays, said to Swedish Radio.

The problem is further exasperated by the fact that when the contractors do respond to a train emergency, they must wait for specialists from the Transport Administration to arrive and make an assessment before fixing the problem. This leads to longer train stoppages when there is a problem.

The Tranport Administration chief, Gunnar Malm, says that the current contracts with private contractors are being rewritten to prioritize prevention over emergency maintenance.

Regarding the need to wait for specialists, Malm told Swedish Radio that, "when there is a problem you want to talk with a specialist in order to determine the best solution." He says that it's worth the extra wait to ensure that things get fixed properly.

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