|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2014)|
X 2000, also called X2, is a tilting train operated by SJ in Sweden. It was constructed by Kalmar Verkstad in Kalmar, Sweden (prior to the company being bought by Adtranz in 1996) and launched in 1990 as a first-class only train with a meal included in the ticket price, and free use of the train's fax machine. There is a bistro on board that serves snack bar-style dishes.
"X2000" was originally a brand name for a number of train connections with a certain service level. Generally the X2 train is used, but because of lack of vehicles, sometimes (especially in the year 2009/2010) other train types have been used, like X40 or Rc loco-hauled stock. These connections were called X2000 on the tickets anyway. Since December 2011, all high speed services of SJ using X2 or X55 trains are called "SJ Snabbtåg" or "SJ High-speed train".
The train's designated top speed is 210 km/h (130 mph). It reached 276 km/h (171 mph) during a trial run with double locomotive units in 1993. However, the maximum speed allowed in regular traffic is 204 km/h (127 mph) for safety reasons – the signal system (and systems like the catenary) are not built for more, and it shares the track with regular trains; also, most of the lines it uses were built in the mid to late 19th century. The 19th century railways Stockholm-Gothenburg/Malmö are relatively straight, since they were planned the shortest way without taking intermediate cities into account, and the landscape is relatively flat. Other 19th century railways are generally curvier. In comparison to other high-speed trains, the X2000 is not particularly fast; but compared to regular train services, it cuts journey time by about 25% – enough to make it competitive with airlines on many routes. It typically averages about 150 km/h (93 mph). The fastest part is Katrineholm–Skövde, a distance of 180 km (110 mi) that is covered in 1h 2min, resulting in an average speed of 174.2 km/h (108.2 mph).
In 2000-2004, seven trains were operated by Linx on the lines Oslo-Gothenburg-Malmö-Copenhagen and Oslo-Stockholm. Linx was a joint venture between SJ and its Norwegian counterpart NSB. It was wound up when SJ wanted to move the trains to more profitable lines in Sweden. Low-fares airlines also played a part in siphoning off passengers from the comparatively slow Linx services, the main ones taking well in excess of three hours.
All trains are equipped with Wi-Fi for passenger access to the Internet and were repainted grey as of 2005. The trains also have electric power supply sockets at all seats in both first and second class. The trains have been fitted with repeaters to improve mobile phone reception.
Impact on the railway
The train has had a major effect on SJ and the country's railway. More passengers, together with the lower operating costs associated with operating trains faster and more efficiently, helped SJ become profitable.
It also proved to Swedes that rail is a viable solution not just in exotic densely populated foreign countries, but also at home in Sweden. In 1991, the government started a massive investment program, spending 5-10 billion kronor annually on improvements to the rail network. The program continues today. A milestone was reached in the late nineties when the number of trips taken by train in Sweden exceeded the 1940s level for the first time.
New links built since 1990 include the Øresund Bridge, the Arlanda Airport link, Södertälje–Huddinge, Söderhamn–Enånger, Varberg–Kungsbacka and Helsingborg–Lund. The X 2000 train undoubtedly contributed to building public support for these large projects.
The fast-growing popularity of the trains has, however, created problems with capacity. The time taken for the X2000 trains are longer in 2008 than in 2000. For Stockholm–Malmö the fastest train takes 21 minutes more time than in 2000. It is the congestion on the railways that impedes the fast trains, especially the prioritized fastest connections. The railways are used by fast X2000 trains, slower passenger trains, and much slower freight trains.
The X 2000 network consists of the following lines:
- Stockholm–Gothenburg, calling at Flemingsberg or Södertälje Syd, Katrineholm or Hallsberg, Skövde, Herrljunga (occasionally), Alingsås (occasionally) and Gothenburg
- Stockholm–Jönköping, calling at Flemingsberg, Norrköping, Linköping, Tranås, Nässjö and Jönköping
- Stockholm–Karlstad, calling at Södertälje Syd, Katrineholm, Hallsberg, Degerfors, Kristinehamn and Karlstad. A daily service continues to Kil and Arvika
- Stockholm–Malmö, with many trains continuing to Copenhagen, calling at Flemingsberg or Södertälje Syd, Katrineholm (occasionally), Norrköping, Linköping, Mjölby and/or Tranås, Nässjö, Alvesta, Hässleholm, Lund and Malmö. Services to Copenhagen also call at Copenhagen Airport and Copenhagen Central Station. For a short period during 2010-2011, there was one daily train to/from Odense.
With X2000 being in high demand SJ ordered 20 X55 Bombardier Regina trains in 2008 to replace the X2000 on lines where its performance can't be fully utilized. When these trains are delivered the X2000 will be concentrated to the main lines of Stockholm-Malmö/Copenhagen and Stockholm-Gothenburg, using double-length X2000 between Stockholm and Gothenburg during rush hours and weekends.
The manufacturer of X 2000 has tried to sell the train to other countries than Sweden, but with mixed success. In connection with the sales attempts the train was tested and demonstrated in some countries.
An X 2000 trainset toured the United States in 1993 on lease to Amtrak. The train was tested by Amtrak from October 1992 until January 1993. It was used in revenue service on the Northeast Corridor between New York City and Washington, D.C. for about 5 months, from February until May and from August until September. From May until July it was taken on a National Tour around the 48 continental states for demonstration stops at significant stations. It also toured parts of Canada.
In 1995, three X 2000 cars were hired by Australian operator CountryLink for evaluation purposes, being one driving trailer, one bistro car and one first class car. The trains were towed in a push/pull operation by modified XPT power cars XP2000 and XP2009 with the tilt equipment deactivated. After conducting a state wide of New South Wales tour in March 1995, they were used on Canberra services from April 1995 until June 1995.
China also purchased a X 2000 train named "Xinshisu" (New Speed). The train served as Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train on the Guangshen Railway from 1998 until 2007. It was delivered to Sichuan Province in August 2007. However, due to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Chengdu Railway Bureau needed to rebuild the railway networks in Sichuan Province. Also, the authority could not carry the maintenance costs of the train. It was therefore returned to Guangshen Railway Company in late December 2008. In 2012 the train was purchased by SJ and was shipped back to Sweden.
- Vantuono, William C. (June 1993). "Touring the Empire Corridor with the X2000 - high-speed train starts cross-country tour in New York State". Railway Age. Retrieved 2006-07-31.
- "So why do you call it a tilt train?" Railway Digest July 1995
- "X2000 in Australia". 14 January 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2006.