Swedish coastal line ramps up rail freight

The North Bothnia Line in Sweden will be the newest addition to the country’s rail freight network. The coastal line will be 270-kilometres long, connecting Umeå and Luleå on the country’s northeast coast and considerably strengthening its rail freight, said the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket).

The line will be an extension of the already existing Bothnia Line that ends in Umeå. The plan is to extend it from Umeå towards the north in Luleå, where it will also connect with the Finnish rail network and the Iron Ore line coming from Narvik in Norway.

Construction is already underway; however, the first sections between Umeå-Dåva and Umeå-Skellefteå will be operational in 2024 and 2030, respectively. Trafikverket already has the green light to start planning the construction of the line’s next and final section between Skellefteå and Luleå.

30 per cent cost decrease for freight

The North Bothnia Line will be a faster and safer route allowing the transit of heavier and farter trains. Simultaneously, it provides something even more exciting: increased capacity. The existing mainline in Sweden’s north has a single track; however, upon completion, North Bothnia will offer more space with its double tracks.

More capacity also means more trains, better transit times, and more cargo on the rails. Specifically, the new line can reduce CO2 emissions by 80,000 tonnes per year by shifting products from rod to rail. On top of that, Trafikverket estimates that the modern infrastructure will result in lower costs for rail freight operators that will see their expenses reducing even by 30 per cent.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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