Sweden’s first venture into high-speed rail, the East Link, is planned as a new double-track railway in the eastern part of Sweden. The East Link will be one part of a future high-speed railway running between Sweden’s metropolitan centers and the Scandinavian capital regions.
A railway developed for high-speed is much straighter compared to a standard line and any curves must be extra wide in order to meet the full potential of a high-speed train. Therefore, 160 kilometers of new railway, 200 bridges and 20 kilometers of tunnels will be built within the East Link project to meet the needs of Sweden’s first high speed railway.
COWI, together with Systra and WSP*, was selected by the Swedish Transportation Administration to plan and predesign the longest section of the East Link, including 65 km of new double-track high-speed railway and 21 km conventional railway through the Municipality of Nyköping. The project includes a large number of bridges and also two new travel centers (including station, tracks and bridges). The new railway will run through large areas of delicate and sensitive natures and WSP* is responsible for the preparation of several environmental impact assessments and the environmental and waterworks permits regarding the foundation predesign works along the stretch. WSP* is, together with COWI and Systra, also managing the hydrogeological assessments, water permitting processes, soft soil geotechnical engineering, rock engineering and vibrations analysis. Furthermore, WSP* is also managing the portion of the project regarding the two new travel centers, one adjacent to a major airport and the other within an urban area.
Construction works for the East Link commenced in 2017 and the entire East Link will become fully operational for traffic during year 2033 to 2035. The East Link is expected to be a real-life demonstration of the advantages of high-speed rail in Sweden, reducing vehicle and air travel for a more environmentally sound future.
* This work was performed by Golder professionals who joined WSP in an acquisition completed in 2021.