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Pausing the Expansion of the Borås-Gothenburg Train Stretch Is Absolute Madness

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Pausing the Expansion of the Borås-Gothenburg Train Stretch Is Absolute Madness

The day before Christmas Eve 2022, the Swedish government quietly released its new direction regarding railway traffic. I interpret the timing as an attempt to fly under the radar, to avoid drawing attention to the news. I must say, that was a smart move, as several planned expansions had suddenly been scrapped or put on hold.

One of the stretches that has been paused and will be replaced by a low-budget alternative is the one between the two largest cities in western Sweden, Gothenburg and Borås. This is one of Sweden’s most frequently used commuter routes.

This is absolute madness!

To make matters worse, the ongoing and controversial tunnel project Västlänken in Gothenburg, which I have always been and still am a staunch opponent of, was partly aimed at creating fast train traffic to Borås via the country's second largest airport, Landvetter.

How is it even an option not to complete the route now?

Avid readers of my blog know that I am completely against high-speed trains in Sweden. My opinion has always been that we should maintain and expand the existing railway network instead. Therefore, a new and modern double-track main line between Gothenburg and Borås would be perfect.

It is 40 miles between Gothenburg and Borås. The commuter train takes about 70 minutes. This can be compared to the Gothenburg-Trollhättan stretch, which is 47 miles long and takes 37 minutes by commuter train. This is thanks to a double-track railway inaugurated in 2012.

In this context, I would also like to point out that Västlänken’s impact on commuter traffic between Gothenburg and Kungsbacka will be a disaster as it will increase travel time by 15 minutes.

But, as I said, I am clearly positive about the extensions of Gothenburg-Borås, Gothenburg-Alingsås and Gothenburg-Trollhättan. The sad thing is that improvements and extensions for all these railway projects, including Gothenburg-Kungsbacka, would already have been completed today if Västlänken had not seen the light of day. Moreover, the cost would have been significantly lower. Now, all this money has been wasted already.

Since the railway between Gothenburg and Borås is so substandard, most commuting takes place on Highway 40. Most trips are made by car, but during certain times of day, the commuter bus runs full every five minutes. This is why Highway 40 is currently one of the busiest roads in Sweden, and also one of the most accident-prone.

Another aspect is that western Sweden is growing rapidly. Over the next 30 years, the population is expected to increase to 2.5 million inhabitants. Despite this knowledge, a railway construction, which in my opinion should have started long ago, is being put on hold.

Right now, the only way to increase traffic on the stretch is to put even more pressure on Highway 40. Thus, even more cars, heavy trucks and public transport buses will have to coexist to an even greater extent in the future.

At the time of writing, Radio Sweden’s traffic department is reporting mile-long queues between Gothenburg and Landvetter Airport during the afternoon rush hour. An unexpected snowfall with subsequent cold has made the road slippery, and some vehicles are stuck at a hill and cannot make it up. All buses were cancelled, and the trains were soon full. Many were stranded, and the traffic problems continued well into the morning hours.

But it is not only storms that will cause problems on Highway 40 in the future. There are already tendencies towards traffic congestion. Therefore, the infrastructure will hinder the development, and it won’t be possible to increase transportation of goods or commuters.

Re-think and do it right!




Trust and care. All the way.

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