December 09, 2015

Sweden finally opens its longest rail tunnel

Written by 
  • Print
  • Email
Official opening ceremony for Sweden's Hallandsås tunnel. Official opening ceremony for Sweden's Hallandsås tunnel.

SWEDEN's enterprise minister Mr Mikael Damberg drove the inaugural train through the 8.7km Hallandsås tunnel on December 9. Construction of what is now the cournty's longest tunnel started as long ago as 1992.

The project, which also involved construction of three new stations, will allow the number of trains on the Gothenburg – Malmö main line to increase from four per hour to 24. The tunnel will open to traffic on December 13 and train operators will immediately double the number of trains on the route.

The construction of the tunnel has been beset with problems. By 1997, only one-third of the tunnel had been constructed due to difficult ground conditions and work was halted that year because of environmental concerns over falling groundwater levels, which have since recovered. Work on the project resumed in 2003.

The project has cost SKr 10.8bn ($US 1.3bn) at 2008 prices and was partly funded by the European Union through the Trans-European Transport Network scheme.

Hallandsas opening2

Get the latest rail news

IRJ Rail Brief newsletter covers global railway news