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Rail Stories

Maintaining sustainability in a fast-growing city

Bombardier has been a key player in Stockholm’s sustainable, safe and effective urban mobility network for 70 years.

Aside from being the most populated city in the Nordics with an urban population of around 1.5 million, the Swedish capital is also home to some of the world’s most important companies and brands. Ericsson networking and telecommunications, fashion retailer H&M, international clothing brand GANT all have their corporate headquarters in Stockholm as well as the world’s fifth-largest construction company, Skanska, and the world’s second-largest appliance maker, Electrolux. Due to investments into tech infrastructure, affordable education, and a robust social security system, Stockholm also has innovation in its blood. A range of high-valued startups like Skype, King and Spotify all got their start in Stockholm’s fertile ground.

However, it wasn’t always this way. At the outset of the industrial revolution of the late 1800s, Stockholm had a modest population of around 75,000 and was limited to what is today considered the city-center. But industrialization arrived on time in Sweden and the country’s neutrality in the Second World War meant that it was one of the few European nations to step into the modern era with its industrial capacity largely intact. This enabled Sweden to benefit from the postwar boom and, as the nation’s industrial capacity grew, more and more Swedes moved from the countryside to find jobs in Stockholm, growing its population by over 25% between 1940 and 1950 - a strong urbanization trend that continues to this day.

A new generation of modern urban mobility

Stockholm relied on a fleet 270 SL C20 metro cars to help meet their their urban mobility goals from 1997 to 2004

Stockholm’s new C20 metro sprung from a close partnership between Adtranz (later Adtranz became Bombardier Transportation) and its customer, SL. The first of 75 trains were delivered in February 1997, with deliveries continuing through to 2002. These new Stockholm metro cars boasted state-of-the-art design and low noise technology for exceptional comfort. New modular construction techniques were introduced to make service and maintenance easier and cheaper. Thanks to low energy consumption and 94% of all construction materials being recyclable, the environment benefitted too. 

Reliable, attractive, comfortable and environment-friendly, this was a metro ready for the 21st century and the new trains were a big hit with both drivers and passengers.

At the turn of the millennium, Stockholm again decided to expand its urban mobility to keep up with growth. Again, SL chose Bombardier to develop a new, cutting edge, sustainable mobility solution that would support Stockholm’s efforts to be a fully sustainable city. 

The interior of the C30 metro features a spacious passenger area with a modern Stockholm-inspired design.

A growing population drove a constant need for more transport capacity as the city's road infrastructure alone could not accomodate the steady rise in mobility demand. To entince commuters to chose a more sustainable rail alternative,  Bombardier developed award winning tram design combined with state-of-the-art energy efficiency. In 2013 SL signed a contract with Bombardier to deliver 96 BOMBARDIER MOVIA metro vehicles, known as the C30 with, an option to purchase up to an additional 80 cars.

Stockholm’s new rolling stock fleet uses modern techniques to increase efficiency, by reducing weight. With a unique bogie arrangement, each C30 has four bogies, the middle cars will have only two and the end cars will only have one. And in addition to a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel frame, a composite core aluminium carbody makes the C30 a lightweight, but durable vehicle with more passenger capacity but less energy requirements.

The C30 is an ambitious project. On the one hand SL wants an attractive vehicle that would reflect the city’s unique style, but it also needs to be sustainable - Stockholm was named Europe’s Green Capital in 2010 and this goal is still honoured. To support sustainbility, the C30 will be constructed of almost entirety recyclable materials and will also be equipped with the highly energy efficient BOMBARDIER FLEXX Eco bogies and the proven BOMBARDIER MITRAC propulsion system. Combined, these features deliver maximum passenger capacity with minimal energy consumption with low environmental impact.

To increase the frequency of service and safety, the C30 will also be equipped with the BOMBARDIER ORBIFLO intelligent train to wayside communication system, which train control system also provides real-time service information and passenger service updates. To maintain a short, but secure headway, the C30 will also employ a continuous-signal safety system that captures data from the tracks via a pair of antennae placed in front of the first wheel axle and continuously compare it to the train's speed. The C30 is a future articulated train type which Bombardier began delivering in 2018 and is planned to enter operation on Stockholm’s Red Line at the end of 2019.

C30 MOVIA metro landscape image

A long-term mobility partnership

Each and every one of us a Bombardier Transportation is proud that the city of Stockholm has chosen us to continue to support their ambitious goal of providing modern and sustainable urban mobility. Aside from the C30 project, we are also making strong contributions to Sweden’s mobility as a whole.

Some of our larger Swedish projects include the delivery of 40 BOMBARDIER FLEXITY City trams with Vossloh Kiepe electrical equipment for Göteborgs Spårvägar in Gothenburg and 40 BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO Express trains for operator Västtrafik. 

In April of 2019, we won a contract to provide 40 high speed regional trains to Västtrafik in Sweden

Stockholm - Bombardier Engineering Site and Divisional Headquarters

Based in Stockholm, our Rail Control Solutions division is also implementing a European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) for Sweden’s national transport administration. 



Fast facts: Stockholm

100 stations

80 km/h top speed

7 lines

2-3 minutes waiting time during peak hours

353 million annual riders

5-6 minutes maximum waiting time between trains