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Rail Stories

Innovation in Sweden’s sustainable transport

Our history of innovation and invention in Sweden goes back more than 140 years with our roots stemming from ABB electrically, Kalmar Verkstad mechanically, and Ericsson for signalling. We’ve been a main player in Stockholm’s sustainable urban mobility network for decades and this collaboration has resulted in five generations of metros for the capital city, starting from the C1 in 1949 through to the newest MOVIA C30 metro. 

Our MOVIA C30 metro for Stockholm is built with 98 per cent recycled materials.

In the 1990’s our predecessor Adtranz worked together with Stockholm to develop a new higher-capacity metro to cope with the city’s rapid urbanization. With a completely new state-of-the-art design, lower weight and improved energy efficiency, the fleet of 90 three-car C20 metro trainsets joined Storstockholms Lokaltrafik’s (SL) network between 1997 and 2004 and have been operating successfully ever since.

Stockholm, Sweden has been consistently listed as one of the world's greenest and most-livable cities.

Sweden’s sustainable transport continues to modernize

These extremely energy-efficient trains contain 98 per cent recyclable materials and were brought into passenger service in 2020.

As Stockholm’s population increased, even more transport capacity was needed. As a result, we worked again with SL to develop the attractive MOVIA C30 metro to draw even greater numbers of commuters to a sustainable rail alternative. These extremely energy-efficient trains contain 98 per cent recyclable materials and were brought into passenger service in 2020.

Great timing considering Swedish Railways’ recent survey results, which found that twice as many Swedes are now choosing train travel over planes when compared to one and half years ago. 


Outside of Stockholm, Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city. Here, local transport authority Göteborgs Spårvägar ordered 40 FLEXITY City trams to increase passenger capacity on its tram networks and to further develop environmentally friendly public transport in the city.

The new trams are equipped for operating in the harsh Nordic winter conditions and have FLEXX bogies to provide riders with a smooth and comfortable journey in all weather conditions. 

The FLEXITY City tram in Gothenburg, Sweden has been specialy equipped to operate during Scandanavia's harsh winters.

Mobility research and development in Västerås 

In Västerås, known as the electricity capital of Sweden, we contribute to substantial mobility research and development. Västerås is also home to our main Swedish site where we have three facilities: A development and project office, a propulsion and control equipment production site and a service operations facility. 

The ground-breaking MITRAC TC1500 propulsion solution was designed and built in Sweden. This energy-saving MITRAC traction converter 1500 with silicon carbide technology completed successful trials on a MOVIA C20 train on the Stockholm Metro’s Green line in 2018. 

We developed and tested an innovative energy-saving propulsion component together with Stockholm City Council, the Swedish Energy Agency, RISE / Acreo and the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology.

Results showed up to 35 per cent reduction in energy consumption, 19 dB lower noise emissions, a 51 per cent reduction in size and 22 per cent less weight for the propulsion system.

Bombardier and its partners - Stockholm County Council, MTR Tech, the Swedish Energy Agency, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and RISE / Acreo – first presented the successful results of this joint research program in March 2018 – and work is ongoing to commercialize this innovative solution.   

Eco-friendly regional service 

To compete with planes, trains need to provide fast, safe, comfortable and eco-friendly regional service that connect cities over longer distances. That’s why in 2018 regional rail operator Västtrafik ordered 40  ZEFIRO Express high-speed trains to expand sustainable mobility in Sweden’s Västra Götaland region.  

With ridership more than doubling since Västtrafik's founding in 1998, demand for high-speed rail connections are growing and today this operator is being challenged to reach 135,000 journeys per-day in the region.

These sleek and sustainable new trains will respond to increasing ridership while delivering a sustainable and enjoyable ride. 

With its attractive Nordic design and reduced energy requirements, Västra Götaland's ZEFIRO Express will help deliver the sustainable mobility lifestyle that the Västra Götaland
region demands today - and for many years to come. 

Västtrafik's ZEFIRO Express high-speed trains will operate at speeds of up to 200 km/h and feature wi-fi, low-floor entry and exit, multi-purpose areas and space for 270 passengers.

Improved passenger experience 

In a region where efficiency and sustainability are the norm, trains need to also offer a premium passenger experience. That’s why with a typical Nordic eye for design, Sweden's new mobility offerings are presenting a viable alternative to airplanes by delivering a new and improved passenger experience in addition to more sustanable performance. 

In June 2019, our ZEFIRO Express high-speed train for Sweden’s Västra
Götaland region won the Brandenburg Design Award for its exterior and interior design, and then six months later, it earned a GOOD DESIGN® award 2019 for its clear Scandinavian Design language - elegance, restrained colours and functionality.

Bombardier’s ZEFIRO Express high-speed train wins Brandenburg Design Award and GOOD DESIGN ® award 2019.

A special challnge facing the ZEFIRO Express design team was considering the region's harsh winter conditions with temperatures down to minus 40 degree Celsius and heavy snow as well as the danger of collisions with elks. Those facts led to a very distinct front-end appearance that still fulfils all requirements for aerodynamics and European standards.

And the ZEFIRO Express high-speed trains aren't the only one of our eco-friendly mobility solutions for Sweden to have won a prestigious design award. We also won a GOOD DESIGN® award for Stockholm’s
MOVIA C30 metro
in 2017. The award recognized how we incorporated Scandinavian design
into the new metro vehicles. 

Visit our Swedish country page to learn more about our presence in Sweden and our Sustainability page to learn more about how our products and services are helping deliver a more sustainable future globally.