High-speed rail Ostlänken: with SYSTRA, Sweden is moving up a gear

High-speed rail Ostlänken: with SYSTRA, Sweden is moving up a gear

Sweden has launched a plan for a new line, in order to connect its three main towns: Stockholm, Malmö, and Göteborg. Several tenders were launched for the eastern section, called Ostlänken. In partnership with COWI Sweden, SYSTRA has won the design of the longest section of the project called “OLP 3”.


The Swedish network is currently limited to 250km/h. With the Ostlänken project, trains will be able to run up to 320km/h at operating speed. In May 2015, COWI-SYSTRA was appointed to carry out the initial studies for the section that will extend from Savjsö to Sillekrog via the town of Nyköping and Skavsta airport. These studies must also enable Trafikverket, the Swedish railway infrastructure manager, to define standards specific to high speed lines in Sweden.

There are major challenges in this project: in addition to the project’s acceptance by the population, it is important to ensure the successful landscaping of the line. The protection of the environment is essential since the tracks go through many protected areas such as Natura 2000. To meet these challenges, SYSTRA has designed a slab track, a ballastless concrete track, as well as an hundred bridges on the section for which the joint-venture COWI-SYSTRA is responsible.


The Ostlänken project is SYSTRA’s first project in Sweden. SYSTRA has had a longstanding partnership with COWI in order to penetrate this market. In 2016, the Group also acquired Dalco Elteknik. Initially involved in the signalling studies, this subsidiary now has a technical Systems coordination role. This project represents an ideal opportunity for its integration in the SYSTRA Group.

With this new line, Sweden aims to reduce the travelling time between its three main towns to two hours, and provide better connections to the railway networks of Denmark, Norway and Germany. The entire “East line”, Ostlänken in Swedish, is scheduled to come into service in 2028.

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