Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
In Sweden plans to build high speed railways have been around since the early 1990s and the plans
have developed to be more precised since. The future Swedish high-speed rail network is supposed
to consist of two lines. Götalandsbanan; from Stockholm to Gothenburg, and Europabanan from
Jönköping through the Öresund Region to Hamburg.
The description of the aim to build high-speed railways in Sweden has in former reports always been
to achieve rapid passenger traffic between big Scandinavian cities and Europe. There are almost
nothing mentioned about the possibilities of high-speed transports of cargo on these railways. This
study aims to clarify the freight transport market for Götalandsbanan and Europabanan.
Today there is only one transport system with high-speed freight trains. It is the French Post, La
Poste, trains for letter and parcel transportation. A more comprehensive system, called Euro Carex, is
at the planning stage in Europe. The plan is to set up cargo terminals at some of Europe's largest
cargo airports where transshipments between flight and rail can be made.
Today train transport has a strong position in the bulk and base market. A transport system with
high-speed freight trains attracts an entirely different type of cargo. There are two distinctive characteristics
that make the goods possible to transport with high-speed trains. These are:
Requirements for short transport time
Such goods are for instance freight today transported by air freight over medium distances and truck
transportations where the journey time is not satisfactory and where air freight is too costly. Products
fulfilling those characteristics are for example, letters, packages, newspapers, flowers, special
mechanical components and medical equipment.
The key to be able to establish a transport system is the amount of goods that would be possible to
transport with high-speed trains. In the current situation road haulage has the absolute majority of
the transport market of highly processed goods with high value products. Air cargo accounts for only
a tiny part, which is almost negligible in comparison with other transport modes. The service market
in which letters and packages are included is however an expanding market, which means that
freight volumes are likely to increase over time.
In this study an analysis of the freight customers' preferences has been done as well as a circulation
analysis for the train traffic, a cost analysis and a distance and travel time analysis.
Realistic timetables for each train set have been created to serve as input for the cost analysis. The
created timetables consist of traffic in following relationships:
Two different scenarios have been developed in order to cover for uncertainty of the market size.
One scenario with high vehicle utilization rate and another with less.
The cost analysis for high-speed freight train traffic is made with a cost model developed for Gröna
tåget by Oskar Fröidh. Four traffic models have been analyzed with varied parameter values. The
traffic model characteristics and the cost analysis results are seen in the table below.
Train Size Utilization Rate
Train Traffic Cost
Total Cost incl.
Small, six railcars Low, scenario 1 1,30 2,30
Small, six railcars High, scenario 2 1,20 1,96
Large, eight railcars Low, scenario 1 1,27 2,02
Large, eight railcars High, scenario 2 1,16 1,73
Table: The characteristics of the four analyzed traffic models and the resulting costs.
Interviews have been done with companies that can be interested in using such a transport system
on order to investigate the size of the market for a Swedish transport system with high-speed freight
trains. Seven companies have been contacted of which four have responded. The amount of goods
that could be transferred to high-speed freight train if such a system existed today is about 8 400
tonnes per year. The amount corresponds to the identified goods that for sure would have been
transferred. Cargo volumes for the different relations can be seen in the table below.
Relation Godsmängd (ton/år)
Stockholm - Göteborg
Stockholm - Malmö
Table: Identified freight volume possible to transport with high-speed freight trains.
If the costs should be as calculated in the cost analysis a transport system with high-speed freight
trains would require market of 196 000 tonnes of freight per year. A transport system consisting of
only one train would require a market of about a third, which is approximately 65 000 tonnes. With
such traffic pattern the cost would be significantly higher for transporting goods with high-speed
freight trains than the calculated values. From these results the conclusion is that there is not a sufficient
market for a transport system with high-speed freight trains in Sweden.
2011. , 94 p.