West Link

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Västlänken
Vastlanken train tunnel in Gothenburg Sweden map based on OpenStreetMaps.png
Overview
LineVästkustbanan
LocationGothenburg, Sweden
StatusUnder construction
SystemWest Coast Line
StartOlskroken east of Göteborg C
EndAlmedal south of Liseberg
No. of stations3
Operation
Openedapprox. 2025 or later
OwnerTrafikverket
CharacterPassenger trains
Technical
Line length290 km
Track length8 km
No. of tracksDouble
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrified15 kV  16.7 Hz AC

The West Link (Swedish: Västlänken) is a railway tunnel under construction under central Gothenburg. The purpose of the project is to increase capacity and reduce travel times on the Gothenburg network by changing the Gothenburg Central Station from a terminus to an underground transit station. Two new underground stations, Haga and Korsvägen, will also be built.

Of the 1.02 million people (2018) who live in Greater Gothenburg (1.7 million in Västra Götaland County), 450,000 people live outside the Gothenburg municipality. [1] Approximately 175,000 people in the region commute to or from Gothenburg Municipality daily.[2] The majority of these people use cars for transportation and the roads in the region are overloaded. Better rail communications to different parts of Greater Gothenburg and better connections to current public transport networks would improve the situation. There is a political wish to reduce car dependency and increase public transport usage. Significant sums of money have been – and are being – invested in rail infrastructure in the other Swedish urban areas such as the Stockholm and Malmö regions (over 40 bn SEK each during 1990-2010). Rail investment in the greater Gothenburg area has not kept up with these other urban areas.

The largest improvement according to the proposed plan would be for commuters from places along the railways from Kungsbacka/Borås and who work or study near Haga station, where a large part of the University of Gothenburg is located. 15 minutes could be saved per journey. Time would be also saved on other journeys, for example around 5 minutes from Alingsås to Sahlgrenska or Chalmers. In addition to this, it would allow high-speed trains from Stockholm to serve destinations such as Kungsbacka, Varberg, Falkenberg etc. via Gothenburg Central station without turning there.

The main reason to build the tunnel is to increase capacity. The Gothenburg Central Station has no capacity for more trains in rush hours, which obstructs the wish to increase train traffic and build a new railway to Borås, the second largest city in the province, which has dense bus traffic to Gothenburg.

History[edit]

Planning process[edit]

As early as the 1950s there were plans for a tunnel under the inner city for railbound vehicles, then for trams. The plans were abandoned because of the cost. The city has to finance tramways, while the government finances railways.

The planning process has taken a long time, being included in preliminary city plans in the mid 90s under the project name "Centrumtunneln". A feasibility study was conducted in 2001–2002 by Banverket in cooperation with Västra Götalandsregionen, Västtrafik, Göteborgsregionen, and the city of Gothenburg. Similar rail tunnel projects have already been implemented in Malmö and in Stockholm.

Västlänken is not part of the Trafikverket Future plan (swe: Framtidsplan) 2004–2015, nor the alternative plan. Construction could start earlier since the Västra Götaland Regional Council is willing to invest money in the project.[3]

Routes[edit]

Banverket investigated three routes for Västlänken, including new stations along the routes in the city centre. The route alternatives were named after the proposed new stations: Haga–Korsvägen, Haga–Chalmers, and Korsvägen. In addition to these underground alternatives, an expansion of the current rail network to the south, with a larger terminus station, was also investigated, named Förstärkningsalternativet (English: the reinforcement alternative).[citation needed]

Decision[edit]

On December 19, 2007, Banverket chose the Haga-Korsvägen alternative as it best fulfilled the goals for the expansion.[4] A majority of other governmental bodies to which the proposed routes were referred for consideration also agreed on that opinion.[citation needed]

Moving trees. Preparations at Korsvägen in Gothenburg, November 2017.

Construction[edit]

The construction cost for the project is estimated at SEK 14.5 billion, using a price index of January 1, 2007. By 2012 the estimated cost had increased to 20 billion. The cost of the project will be partially financed by road tolls levied on vehicles entering and leaving central Gothenburg, as well as on those simply passing by the city on the major thoroughfares.[citation needed]

The official construction start ceremony took place on 30 May 2018.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.scb.se/hitta-statistik/statistik-efter-amne/befolkning/befolkningens-sammansattning/befolkningsstatistik/pong/tabell-och-diagram/kvartals--och-halvarsstatistik--kommun-lan-och-riket/kvartal-1-2018//
  2. ^ "Antal pendlare per län och kommun, 2017" [Number of commuters per county and municipality]. Statistiska Centralbyrån (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  3. ^ Andree, Lasse (2008-11-07). "Västlänken kan startas med regionpengar" (in Swedish). Göteborgs-Posten. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  4. ^ "Banverket väljer alternativ Haga-Korsvägen för Västlänken" (in Swedish). Banverket. 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  5. ^ Första spadtaget för Västlänken