[SE] Study: maglev may be best for the climate and cost the least

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[SE] Study: maglev may be best for the climate and cost the least

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Study: maglev may be best for the climate and cost the least
30 mars 2022
by Emmy Westling

Translation of excerpts from an article in the Swedish https://miljo-utveckling.se/studie-magn ... -klimatet/ Accessed 2022-03-30

2022-03-30 Henrik Ny - TR - Christer Löfving
2022-03-30 Henrik Ny - TR - Christer Löfving
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Source https://miljo-utveckling.se/studie-magn ... -klimatet/ Accessed 2022-03-30

Innovation Magnetic trains could be best for the climate and the economy. This is the conclusion of transport researcher Henrik Ny in a recent study in which he recommends a new investigation into Sweden's planned high-speed rail system. The Swedish Transport Administration says no.

Henrik Ny,
who researches sustainable transport at Blekinge University, was previously among those who dismissed magnetic trains as something futuristic and unsuitable for Sweden. But an opinion piece opened his eyes to the transport technology.

- When I looked into it, I found that it's actually quite an interesting technology. Unfortunately, it seems that most people have the attitude I had at the beginning, that magnetic trains are something for the distant future," he says.

At the same time as Henrik Ny's interest in magnetic trains grew, the Swedish debate on fast land transport intensified. He felt that the alternative of magnetic trains was conspicuous by its absence. To add his own touch, he decided to carry out a study to investigate the matter further. That was a year and a half ago.

Maglev best for climate, study says

The study is now complete and the results published at Blekinge University of Technology.

The study compares three different future scenarios for fast land transport, based on the requirements for a sustainable transport system. The first scenario is to upgrade the existing system, the second to build a new high-speed system and the third to build a rail system with magnetic trains.

The study concludes that the maglev option could have the "best potential to meet the transport needs of individuals and industry while generating benefits for the economy with the least environmental impact".

- The study is not exhaustive, but it shows that there may be better alternatives than the one currently envisaged. What I would like to see is a full investigation. Unfortunately, not all the relevant options have been examined, which is what I think we should do when we are talking about such a large and costly investment," he says.


Decision on high-speed system expected soon

In November 2021, the Swedish Transport Administration presented a proposal for a new national plan for Sweden's transport infrastructure. This includes a high-speed system. The proposal is to install high-speed train main lines between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

According to estimates, the cost of the system will be around SEK 295 billion. The decision is now being prepared and the first stage of the plan is expected to be adopted by the government in June.

What do you think of the Transport Agency's plan?

- That they haven't thought it through properly. Compared to a rail system with magnetic trains, it would mean a lot more concrete, a lot more space in the forest, a lot less speed and a lot more work, says Henrik Ny.

But a magnetic train system would be very expensive?

- That's also a misconception. It would probably cost less in the long run. Magnetic trains require only half as much concrete as traditional high-speed trains on bridge tracks and don't need as many tunnels because they can move up and down around obstacles in the landscape more flexibly," says Henrik Ny and continues:

- This means that installation would probably be cheaper and, in addition, the maintenance cost of the frictionless maglev system could be limited to about a third of that of the alternative.
Trakikverket responds to criticism

Christer Löfving works as a strategist at Trafikverket. He too sees several advantages of magnetic trains, but says the technology is not proven enough to build in Sweden.

- We have investigated the technology, but concluded that it is too uncertain. At the same time, we are following developments in other countries. It's not entirely unlikely that it will happen in the future," he says.

According to Trafikverket, only the magnetic train system in Shanghai that reaches the speed that would be considered for installation in Sweden. That's a distance of three miles.
Christer Löfving, strategist at Trafikverket, believes that the magnetic train technology is too uncertain to install in Sweden.

- We cannot start building a system that is so costly and extensive and that has not been tested on a large scale anywhere in the world.
Shouldn't Sweden be at the forefront?

- Yes, we should, and we do in many areas, but when it comes to this particular issue, we're taking a step back and letting other countries lead the way," he says.

A decision on a new system will probably be taken this summer. Is there a risk of rushing the decision if there might be a better solution?

- I don't think so. We have looked into this and we have to start somewhere," he says.
So there will be no new investigation?

- No, not as things stand at the moment.

Henrik Ny agrees that it would be foolish to wait too long before building a new high-speed line, but he thinks that all the facts should be on the table before a decision is made.

- We shouldn't sit back and think that technology will solve everything and then it will be fine. If we leave this to the market, the risk is that we will fly more and build more roads. Something new and better is needed. I therefore think that the options available should be investigated, so that they are given a backhander.

Translation of excerpts from an article in the Swedish https://miljo-utveckling.se/studie-magn ... -klimatet/ Accessed 2022-03-30
Best regards,

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