BackgroundBanverket is the national authority responsible for railway maintenance and traffic control.
Its duties include working together with operators, users and other interested parties to promote the development of rail traffic. This means that Banverket is responsible for the RD&D required for developing the rail transport sector and for keeping the community as a whole informed in this area.
Banverket’s 2006 – 2011 RD&D programme specifies four initiatives that should be carried out at the outset of the programme. The fourth initiative reads as follows:
“Cooperation with manufacturers of vehicles and other equipment regarding RD&D efforts to develop and maintain competence for construction of rail materials suitable for Swedish conditions”.
Operators, vehicle suppliers and infrastructure managers need to collaborate with each other and share their competence when ordering, developing and manufacturing new vehicles.
Swedish climatic conditions take a toll on vehicles and other equipment and thus differ to some extent, from conditions that generally apply to leading countries on the European continent.
For the foreseeable future, Swedish and Nordic high-speed traffic for transporting passengers will run on tracks for mixed traffic. For this reason, a steady accumulation of knowledge is crucial for meeting the special requirements for vehicle construction and maintenance methods.
The development of faster and more efficient regional train traffic also calls for RD&D, which will highlight the kind of demands placed on the running and driving of vehicles, and on their performance in traffic.
The term ‘Gröna Tåget’ refers to an underlying opportunity for the railways to contribute towards a long-term, sustainable transport system, by offering high- apacity, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly performance, with maximum
security. In keeping with the road traffic and air industries’ moves to improve their
environmental performance, trains of future generations must also become safer for the natural environment and more cost effective.
‘Gröna Tåget’ focuses on passenger trains of the future, with speeds up to and exceeding 250 km/h.
It is envisaged that Swedish rail research should play a leading role in Europe and contribute towards the development of new vehicle solutions and standards. In future, ‘Gröna Tåget’ should serve as a source of inspiration and knowledge for rail companies and vehicle manufacturers in the development of innovative concepts for trains and traffic, with particular focus on passenger trains in the Nordic countries.
The aim of ‘Gröna Tåget’
The aim of the vehicle research programme, ‘Gröna Tåget’, is to develop and maintain the level of competence needed to ensure that future passenger trains running on the Swedish railway network, will be able to meet with the special technical requirements and business demands brought about by the particularities of Nordic conditions. A concept for vehicles of this kind is expected to be complete within five years.
The programme’s stakeholders hope to achieve this aim by safeguarding existing
knowledge and by developing new expertise, which will serve as a basis for the ongoing development and production of vehicles adapted for Nordic conditions. ‘Nordic conditions’ refer, among other things, to rails in cold climates that accommodate mixed traffic and a great deal of reverse running. This knowledge will also be useful to current discussions and studies about Swedish high-speed railways of the future. Moreover, this insight could also be used when modifying the technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) in future, which may be required for introducing innovative technical solutions.
The programme could also strengthen the position of the Nordic countries by creating further opportunities for them to participate in and have influence on European RD&D programmes. The programme must be in line with ERRAC’s strategic research programme.