North Bothnia Line

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North Bothnia Line
TypeHigh-speed railway
SystemSwedish railway
Line length270 km (170 mi)
Number of tracks1
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification15 kV 16.7 Hz AC
Operating speed250 km/h (160 mph)

The North Bothnia Line (Swedish: Norrbotniabanan) is a planned high-speed railway line between Umeå Central Station and Luleå Central Station in Sweden. The line would be 270 kilometres (170 mi) long and be a northern extension of the Bothnia Line, which opened in 2010. The planned extension is expected to improve accessibility between larger cities along Sweden's coast and handle 1.6 million passengers per year.[1]

Currently, the area is served by the Main Line Through Upper Norrland, which is located inland and with branch lines connected to various towns along the coast. To the north, the line will connect with the Main Line Through Upper Norrland and onwards along the Haparanda Line to connect to the Barents Region and the Finnish railway network.[2] It will also connect to the Iron Ore Line. The project is estimated to cost 23 billion Swedish kronor (SEK).[3]

The line will connect to Stockholm via the Bothnia Line, the Ådalen Line and the East Coast Line. The Main Line Through Upper Norrland has a maximum permitted train weight of 1,100 tonnes (1,100 long tons; 1,200 short tons) per Rc locomotive,[4] while the North Bothnia Line will be built for 1,600 tonnes (1,600 long tons; 1,800 short tons) and will reduce transport distance by 70 to 110 kilometres (43 to 68 mi) for many freight routes.[3] An upgrade of the Main Line has been considered, but because of the curvy right-of-way most of the line would have to be built in an all-new right-of-way, which would raise costs to about the same as the North Bothnia Line. In addition, the Main Line's inland route makes it unsuitable for regional passenger services and gives longer distances.[5] Travel time from Umeå to Luleå for passenger trains will be 90 minutes, compared to over 4 hours for buses or trains today.[6]

The first part of the line to be built is a 12-kilometre (7.5 mi) section from Umeå to Dåva industrial area, where construction started on 23 August 2018.[7] As of 2018, the rest of the Umeå–Skellefteå half is under advanced planning,[8] while Skellefteå–Luleå lacks funding.[9]


  1. ^ "Bothnian Corridor" (PDF). Trafikverket. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  2. ^ "The secret behind Sweden's fastest growing province". New European Economy. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Kortfakta" (in Swedish). Norrbotniabanegruppen. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  4. ^ There are 3200 tonnes trains on the main line, having 3 Rc or 2 TRAXX locomotives.
  5. ^ "Fragor och svar" (in Swedish). Swedish Transport Administration. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  6. ^ "Fragor och svar" (PDF) (in Swedish). Norrbotniabanegruppen. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  7. ^ Barrow, Keith (24 August 2018). "Sweden launches Norrbotniabanan construction". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Aktuellt i ditt område" (in Swedish). Swedish Transport Administration. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Skellefteå-Luleå" (in Swedish). Swedish Transport Administration. Retrieved 2 November 2018.

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