X 2000 is the brand name of Sweden's tilting 200 km/h high-speed train class X2, which is operated by SJ. It was launched in 1990 as a first-class only train with a meal included in the ticket price, and free use of the train's fax machine. It was then the only train in Sweden to have air conditioning and audio sockets. There is a bistro on board that serves snack bar-style dishes.
Though the top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h) is unremarkable internationally, X 2000 deserves the reputation as a high-speed train since it cut journey times by about a quarter, enough to be competitive with airlines on many major routes. It typically averages about 93 mph (150 km/h).
In 2000-2004, seven trains were operated by Linx on the lines Oslo-Göteborg-Malmö-København and Oslo-Stockholm. Linx was a joint venture between SJ and its Norwegian counterpart NSB. It was wound up when SJ wanted to move the trains to more profitable lines in Sweden. Low-fares airlines also played a part in siphoning off passengers from the comparatively slow Linx services, the main ones taking well in excess of three hours.
Impact on the railway
The train has had a major impact on SJ and the country's railway. More passengers, together with the lower operating costs associated with operating trains faster and more efficiently, helped SJ become profitable.
It also proved that rail is a viable solution not just in exotic foreign countries, but also at home in Sweden. In 1991, the government started a massive investment program, spending 5-10 billion kronor annually on improvements to the rail network. The program continues today and is being accelerated. A milestone was reached in the late nineties when the number of trips taken by train in Sweden exceeded the 1940s level for the first time.
New links built since 1990 include the Øresund bridge, the Arlanda Airport link, and the 50 mile (80km) long Svealand line (Stockholm)-Södertälje-Eskilstuna. The X 2000 train undoubtedly contributed to building public support for these large projects.
X 2000 routes
The X 2000 network radiates out from Stockholm, with the exception of the Göteborg-Malmö route. The other endpoints of the network are:
- Copenhagen (København in Denmark)
- Gothenburg (Göteborg)
- Östersund (- Åre)
An X 2000 trainset toured the United States in 1993 on lease to Amtrak. It was used for a few runs on the Northeast Corridor between New York City and Washington, DC, and was taken around the 48 continental states for demonstration stops at significant stations.
In 1995, CountryLink (the regional operator in New South Wales, Australia), hired three X 2000 cars for evaluation purposes. The trains were towed by a modified XPT power car/locomotive and were in service from Sydney to Canberra for two months.
An X2000 train operates in China, on the Guangshen railway, known as "Xinshisu".
- Vantuono, William C.. "Touring the Empire Corridor with the X2000 - high-speed train starts cross-country tour in New York State", Railway Age, June 1993. Retrieved on 2006-07-31.
- X2000 in Australia (14 January 2002). Retrieved on 20 May, 2006.
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