Photo: Sverigeförhandlarna.
Proposal for high-speed train routes revealed Monday. Photo: Sverigeförhandlarna.

Winners and losers as high-speed railway is drawn

Mayor of Växjö: "The government and parliament have not made their decision yet"
2:33 min

Thirteen stops are planned for the future high-speed rail link between Sweden's three biggest cities. But there's criticism from the towns that are not among them.

On Monday, municipalities along future high-speed rail lines connecting Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö - heard if their towns were to be considered for station stops along the lines. 

From Stockholm to Jönköping, the stops are proposed to be Vagnhärad, Skavsta, Nyköping, Norrköping, Linköping and Tranås, according to newswire TT.

From there, a west-bound route towards Gothenburg would continue through Borås, Landvetter, and Mölnlycke. A south-bound route towards Malmö would continue from Jönköping through Värnamo, Hässleholm, and Lund.

Many awaited the decision on the train's route through the province of Småland where two routes were being considered, an easterly route through Älmhult and the more-populous Växjö or a westerly route through Ljungby and Värnamo. HG Wessberg said the westerly route was chosen because it was shorter, straighter and cheaper.

"We have chosen the shortest, straightest and therefore cheapest route through Småland," said HG Wessberg, from Sverigeförhandlingen (the National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure) at the announcement Monday morning.

And for the small town of Tranås the news was fantastic.

"Right now it is as if we have won an olympic gold medal," a very pleased Tranås Mayor Anders Wilander told Swedish Television News.

But the Mayor of Växjö, Bo Frank, told TT that he did not think the proposal would be approved by the Swedish Parliament.

"This is emerging as a project that is just about linking Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. All of southeastern Sweden is being left completely outside. For that reason I don't think this will be sustainable," he said.

And in an interview with Radio Sweden, Mayor Frank said that the planner's reasoning that the westerly route through Småland would be cheaper did not make financial sense because it would sacrifice riders from the south-east.

"If you take just two minutes extra to let the train go by Växjö, you could reach a population of a couple hundred thousand people for more passengers in the south-eastern part of Sweden. So we could bring a better economy to the whole project," Frank said.

The railway is estimated to cost between SEK 190 and 330 billion to build, according to Swedish Radio news quoting a figure from the Swedish Transport Administration. 

Sverigeförhandlingen, which is tasked with meeting representatives from local and regional governments, must submit a final report in December of 2017, which will be used by the government to make the final plans for the high-speed lines.

Swedish Radio's local channel in Kronoberg County reported that the train was estimated to be finished by 2035.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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