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An X 2000 of Swedish Railways, photographed on 5 February 2005

X 2000 is the brand name of Sweden's tilting 200 km/h high-speed train class X2, which is constructed by ADtranz and operated by SJ. It was 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.

The trains were initially used sparingly to avoid breakdowns. From 1995 the trains were used more intensively and second class was introduced.

The train's designated top speed is 210 km/h (but during a trial with double locomotive units in 1993 it reached 276 km/h), but the maximum allowed speed in regular traffic is 204 km/h (127 mph) since the signal system (and systems like the catenary) are not built for more for safety reasons, and as it shares the track with regular trains and as most of the lines it uses were built in the mid to late 19th century. The 19th century railways Stockholm-Göteborg/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 a quarter - enough to make it competitive with airlines on many routes. It typically averages about 150 km/h (90 mph). The fastest part is Katrineholm - Skövde, a distance of 180 km (approximately 112 miles) that is covered in 1h 2min, resulting in an average speed of 174.2 km/h (108.74 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 wireless LANs 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

An X 2000 of the Oresund Railway service between Denmark and Sweden, at Copenhagen on 30 September 2005
Interior of first class (modernised)

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 Oresund 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:

Overseas appearances

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. It was used for a few runs on the Northeast Corridor between New York City and Washington, DC, and was taken around the 48 continental states for demonstration stops at significant stations. It also toured parts of Canada.[1]

In 1995, CountryLink (the regional operator in New South Wales, Australia), hired three X 2000 cars for evaluation purposes, being one driving trailer, one bristro car and one first class car. The trains were towed in a push/pull operation by two modified XPT power car/locomotives, numbered XP2000 and XP2009 and were in service from Sydney to Canberra for two months, from 23 April to June 18th 1995.[2]

China also purchased a X 2000 train named "Xinshisu" (New Speed). The train was served Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train on Guangshen railway from 1998 and 2007. It was delivered to Sichuan Province in August 2007. However, due to 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Chengdu Railway Bureau need to rebuild the railway networks in Sichuan Province. Also, the authority cannot burden the maintenance cost of the train, so the authority returned the train to Guangshen Railway Company Limited in late December 2008.

See also


External links

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