Sweden Rolls Out New High-Speed Green Train on Old Tracks

Sweden Rolls Out New High-Speed Green Train on Old Tracks

Rail travel could get a lot greener following the unveiling of a new high-speed train that promises to slash energy use by 30 percent compared to existing models.

The Grona Taget or Green Train, developed by engineering giant Bombardier, is getting a trial in Sweden and boasts a record top speed of 295 km/h (about 183 mph).

It is hoped that the train will be at the forefront of a new generation of high-speed trains that meet existing technical and traffic requirements, and therefore do not require new tracks to be laid.

"We want to operate as fast and efficiently as possible using the present infrastructure, which often means sharing single tracks with cargo and regional trains," explained Per Kyhle, senior technical strategist at Swedish rail authority Banverket. "The tests have proven that these aims are realistic."

He added that the early test results also showed that the project could achieve its goal of cutting energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent and lowering both journey times and operational costs.

The Green Train is based on Bombardier's Regina train design, but a range of new ECO4 energy saving technologies have been installed, including a new permanent magnet motor that delivers increased propulsion chain efficiency and a "driver assistance system."

This provides the driver with real-time information on speed and traction force and can help save up to 15 percent of traction energy on a journey.

Bombardier Transportation's Klas Wahlberg said the project underlined the company's commitment to the high-speed trains, adding that many of the technologies featured could be adapted to rail networks in other countries.

"This joint effort has shown that our Green Train is not only the right train for operation in the Nordic region, but that it also presents a new generation of energy-efficient, sustainable high-speed trains," he said. "Our ECO4 technologies can be customized to enhance the performance of any fleet, as we have shown."