Nordic coutries: Sweden

With a large area that ranks as the third largest country in the European Union, it has one of the lowest population densities in Europe. This involves great challenges in connecting the various, widely scattered population centres throughout the geography of the country.

Its population is highly concentrated in the south of the country, especially in the three major cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo, where 51% of the Swedish population is accumulated. Furthermore, the trend in recent years shows a clear increase in population in the regions of these cities, which shows the need to incorporate a greater amount of infrastructure to improve the mobility problems caused by a growing population.

The various Swedish public administrations, with Trafikverket (Swedish Transport Administration) as head of the operation and management of transport infrastructure, jointly plan different projects. However, having different levels of decision involved, the first part of the planning process and obtaining permits can be very complicated and spread over time for several years.

The total supply has been increasing in recent years, with increased investments in infrastructure they have exceeded expectations and objectives of the administrations themselves. However, the number of proposals received by Trafikverket has descended on the number of projects tendered in recent years, both in the rail sector and in infrastructure projects in road transport. During the next few years, different projects with their corresponding bids will be carried out. The prospects offered by the sector show a clear need to incorporate new technologies, especially in the field of High Speed, where the country has little experience (not exceeding 250 km/h) and to which the country is devoting large amount of state investments. The first two projects of the future network that will connect the 3 main urban centres of the country, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, are already planned to take place in the coming years. To the east, the section between Stockholm and Linköping will be executed, while works in the west of the line between Gothenburg and Borås will begin. These first two lines represent two of the major investments of the new infrastructure plan. However, these are only the first two sections of the future Swedish network. High speed is starting to being developed in Sweden and the necessary works to completion are expected to extend over several decades.

The arrival of High Speed ​​to the airports of Landvetter and Skavsta require adapting existing facilities and building intermodal stations to improve accessibility for travellers. The connection of the major Swedish airports by rail is one of the main commitments of the central administration, which has shown interest in incorporating foreign companies that can provide technical expertise and practical experience, to promote air transport and the accessibility of their facilities, located several kilometres away from the urban centres.
Another investment item will go to ERTMS signaling systems. The Parliament has decided that all new infrastructure to be built and those in which investments are expected must follow the standards of ERTMS, entrusting the task of introducing this system to Trafikverket.

The ERTMS project is one of the most important priorities of the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and represents one of the largest investments of this Infrastructure Plan.

Other projects like The E4 Stockholm Bypass, The West Link or The Mälaren Line include the construction of major infrastructure that will require the participation of foreign companies.

The large number of bridges and tunnels planned in different government projects show an interesting field of action for international companies. The railway network has a total length of 12,821 km of railways, of which 7,963 km are electrified lines and there are nearly 600 train stations throughout the country. Trafikverket owns and operates about 90% of the network since April 1, 2010, date until which was managed by its predecessor Banverket, the Swedish Railway Agency.

Rail transport, both passenger and freight, is liberalized, although the 2 main companies operating on the SJ, (passengers) and Green Cargo Network (freight) are public companies. Rail traffic in Sweden has increased considerably over the last 20 years and is a very common transport mean among Swedes, who do about 500,000 trips daily.