Western Main Line

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The Western Main Line (Swedish: Västra stambanan) is the main railway line between Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden. The line is electrified and consists entirely of double track, except the four-track sections between Gothenburg Central Station and Olskroken (2 km or 1.2 mi), in Järna (5 km or 3.1 mi), and south of Stockholm, between Flemingsberg and Stockholm South Station, about 14 km (8.7 mi). The last section between Stockholm South Station and Stockholm Central Station runs mainly on a two-track bridge. Before the Stockholm City Line was opened in 2017, the bridge was a serious bottleneck, as all trains had to use the same tracks.

Operating speed[edit]

The maximum speed on the line is 200 km/h (120 mph). This speed is only attained by the SJ 2000 tilting high-speed trains and some regional trains. The InterCity trains are limited to 160 km/h (100 mph) due to the rolling stock. A section of the line, between Skövde and Töreboda, is the longest straight section of railway in Sweden, with almost 40 km (25 mi) of track without a curve, and used in speed trials. The current Swedish speed record of 303 km/h (188 mph) was achieved here by a X50 "Regina" EMU. The line has always been known for its high speeds. As early as the 1950s, the Rapid engines travelled the route at 150 km/h (93 mph).

Future[edit]

There are plans to build a high-speed line between Stockholm and Gothenburg, south of lake Vättern. The route would be operational somewhere around 2020, and capable of speeds of more than 300 km/h (190 mph). However, this would only cut the travel time by about 40 minutes (the fastest connection today is a non-stop SJ 2000 service which covers the 455 km (283 mi) in 2 hours and 52 minutes, at an average speed of 159 km/h (99 mph)), but connect more large cities to the Stockholm–Gothenburg line (Borås, Jönköping, Linköping, Norrköping).

External links[edit]