SWEDISH operator SJ has this week put its refurbished X2000 tilting 200km/h trains into service on the Södra main line from Stockholm to Malmö, extending the benefits of the upgraded fleet which have been operating on the Stockholm - Gothenburg route since autumn 2021.

On the Malmö line from the capital there are three daily departures on weekdays and one departure in each direction on Saturdays and Sundays. All services call at Lund, Hässleholm, Alvesta, Nässjö, Linköping and Norrköping, and some also stop at Älmhult, Mjölby and Södertälje. 

SJ says the goal of its extensive refurbishment of the X2000 fleet has been to increase passenger comfort in a sustainable way, with much effort being put into designing the new seats, interior fittings and technical equipment. In addition, a steel basket seat frame has been adopted to reduce the amount of new steel required.

Each upgraded train has around 15% more seats, with the design work ensuring this has been achieved without affecting comfort. The new seats can be raised and lowered electrically and have new extendable tray tables allowing each passenger to adjust the configuration of their seat, armrests and table to suit their individual requirements.

In addition, accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility has been improved. Braille location markers have been provided and the disabled toilet compartment has a new, larger design. Luggage storage areas have been enhanced and second class now has twice as much luggage rack space as previously.

SJ has added an onboard 5G-based Wi-Fi system and has replaced the train windows with new radiolucent glass that improves mobile phone reception.

Another view of an upgraded X2000 train. Photo credit: SJ

The 43 SJ X2000 EMUs (also known as X2s) were originally designed by ASEA and constructed in Sweden by Kalmar Verkstad. The trains were launched in 1990, initially operating first class-only services. Second class was introduced in 1995.

SJ first announced in January 2014 that it would be investing SKr 3.5bn ($US 342.7m) in modernisation and repowering of the X2000 fleet. This was with the goal of extending the life of the trains by 20-25 years, with refurbishment costing one third of the price of replacement with new trains, as well as having a lower environmental impact. SJ awarded ABB a $US 200m contract to replace the traction converters, transformers, battery chargers, train control systems, and passenger information and entertainment equipment, and in 2016 signed a contract worth more than SKr 1bn with Knorr-Bremse subsidiary Swedtrac to refurbish the interiors of 36 of the trains.

The X2000 refurbishment programme is due for completion in 2027.