Oslo-Stockholm train popular

The weeks-old route has seen huge passenger numbers

Photo: Hofres / Wikimedia Commons An X 2000 train used by the Swedish rail company, SJ.

Photo: Hofres / Wikimedia Commons
An X 2000 train used by the Swedish rail company, SJ.

Michael Sandelson
The Foreigner

Sweden state railway SJ commenced high-speed services between Stockholm and Oslo on August 10.

The company’s tilting X 2000 train, also called the X2, covers the stretch in 4.5 hours, with the number of daily departures having increased from two to three. This journey used to take some six hours.

SJ press spokesperson Petter Essén says that the first few weeks’ passenger numbers “have exceeded all expectations.”

“We can already notice an 18 percent increase in the number of trips compared with the same period last year,” he told Norway publication Dagsavisen. The company is aiming for a 20 percent rise over one and a half years.

“We’ll certainly be considering the possibility of an increase in daily departures to serve our new customers even better if the trend continues,” said Essén.

Some 1.4 million passengers fly between Scandinavian capitals Oslo and Stockholm annually. According to Dagsavisen, Norway airports operator Avinor reports return trips declined by 1.3 percent in August this year.

And while the SJ-ABB-built X 2000 does the Stockholm-Gothenburg stretch in 2 hours and 50 minutes, SJ states, Norway’s trains have been found to be among the slowest in Europe.

A Norwegian Ministry of Transport-commissioned report considering possible high-speed rail links between southern Norway cities as well as Oslo-Gothenburg and Oslo-Stockholm also never left the station of enthusiasm.

Since then, the Chinese have said they would be interested in investing in inter-Scandinavia high-speed-rail, with Norwegian government politicians stating that they wish to review rail links between Norway and Sweden.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit theforeigner.no.

It also appeared in the Sept. 18, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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