So what’s the big deal about high-speed rail networks in Europe and at home? Rail Europe brings to you the second post in a series of interviews from CEOs of high-speed trains for an inside scoop. We’re featuring their inspirational words on our blog about every two weeks for the next several months. At the end of each post, we’ll ask a trivia question and you’ll have 24 hours to answer in our blog comments. From all correct answers, one winner will be selected to receive two complimentary rail tickets on the featured rail company’s high-speed network – up to a $599 value High-Speed Trivia Sweepstakes. See how fast can you answer!
Read on for the second post of our series: CEO Crister Fritzon on the Swedish high-speed trains.
How did your railway undertaking get started?
1798 The first documented rail track in Sweden and the carriages are pulled by horses
1855 Colonel Nils Ericson is appointed to lead the design and construction of Sweden’s main rail lines
1856 The Swedish State Railways is founded, operating with steam trains
1862 Stockholm/Gothenburg route is established, our prime route of today
1886 Our first sleepers are introduced
1895 The first electric route is introduced in and around Stockholm, one of the first in Europe at that time
1939 The government decides to create a state owned national railway SJ = Statens Järnvägar
1990 High-speed train is introduced
2011 Botniabanan is introduced, our latest railway connecting the coastline up to the north of Sweden (the previous track was inland)
2012 20 brand new high-speed trains operate as the SJ 3000
Where do you see the future of your railway 10 years from now?
SJ will be the market leader, with a customer oriented approach and an ongoing improvement of our environmental policy. Hopefully we will introduce high-speed lines connecting north and south of Sweden with a much faster infrastructure than today.
What can you say to convince the North Americans to take a ride on one of your trains?
Welcome to Sweden!
It doesn’t really matter what time of year you come to visit us. Experiencing Sweden in the winter is just as exciting and amazing as it is in the summer – regardless of whether you are heading for the big city heat or the wondrous wilderness of our northern realms. Travel by train, and you can rest assured that you have not only chosen the most ecologically sound alternative for your journey, you have also chosen the most comfortable and safest means of transport. You can quietly recline in a cozy seat on our modern trains and simply enjoy the trip as a delightful preview to the adventure that’s yet to come. And you can spend your time on board doing precisely as you please.