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The Nordic approach to saving the planet



Rail Stories

The Nordic approach to sustainable mobility

Strong voices from Nordic nations have influenced the sustainability debate for decades. Today, governments are prioritizing investments in more and better public transport to contribute to a sustainable society and support sustainable economic growth. Not only that, their young people have captured the attention of the developing world and given a face to the Nordic nations' commitment to fighting climate change. If the region's emerging mobility shift towards rail is any indication, the Nordic approach to saving the planet is much more than just talk.

A recent survey by Swedish Railways (SJ) showed a broad modal mobility shift taking place. Their research (carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic) found that 37 per cent of survey participants now prefer to travel by rail instead of air, in comparison to 26 per cent last fall and 20 per cent in early 2018. By all appearances, shift to rail for intercity travel is taking place across the Nordics. Although Sweden is a hotspot for our sustainable transportation solutions, with our current projects including the BOMBARDIER MOVIA C30 metros for Stockholm, BOMBARDIER FLEXITY trams for Gothenburg and BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO Express high-speed regional trains for the Västra Götaland region, other Nordic countries are also prioritizing greener public transit to protect the environment.

Living so close to the sea, it's not surprising that the Nordic countries are placing a premium on sustainable transport.

Here is how our eco-friendly mobility solutions are helping some of the Nordic countries deliver on their climate change commitments.

In 2018, we completed the world’s first ERTMS Level 2 tests in Sweden. The image shows Bombardier’s RC6 test vehicle on the ERTMS track, equipped with our INTERFLO 450 solution. ERTMS is part of the planned national rail upgrade to safely boost speeds, capacity and reliability as well as integration with Europe.

Sustainability that crosses borders

Eco-friendly mobility solutions need to have an international approach if they are to succeed. That’s why we are helping the Nordics integrate their new eco-friendly mobility vision with the rest of Europe.

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is part of our overall Sweden rail modernization program to upgrade their entire network to ensure integration with Europe’s rail systems. This program allows Swedish-style sustainability to cross borders throughout the EU. Like a global economy, we will be exporting sustainability because the new system won’t just be Sweden’s system, but everyone’s system. A true integrated sustainable system for crossing borders while travelling.

Digital services

Services are essential to getting an innovative vehicle to perform as expected. For example, our services team is currently performing heavy maintenance and retrofitting 59 BOMBARDIER REGINA Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains for Sweden’s rail vehicle leasing company AB Transitio. This project will improve safety and provide reliable service for millions of passengers across Sweden annually. Extending the lifetime of existing assets is one the most eco-friendly things we can do and we work directly with our partners to help them meet their asset goals. 

REGINA EMU train for Sweden

This Bombardier-built fleet of REGINA EMU trains for Sweden is currently benefiting from a technical and comfort upgrade.

To close the economic loop, it is vital we don’t buy things we don’t need so we aren’t clogging logistical pipelines. Our asset management process enables customers to become leaner in their asset purchases by closing gaps in their supply chain and  maintaining control of their assets. But Sweden isn’t alone in fighting the Nordic sustainability battle. Denmark, Norway and Finland, also prioritize eco-friendly mobility.

Long-term eco-solutions in Denmark

The famous Øresund bridge provides a vital, eco-friendly connection between Sweden and Denmark. Around eight million people per year travel on this impressive rail link installed on the bridge’s lower deck, while the four-lane road on the upper deck moves around six million road vehicles per year. The 111 electric-powered BOMBARDIER CONTESSA regional trains, designed and built by Bombardier, change automatic crossing the bridge at high-speed. In addition, rail traffic on this famous bridge is safely managed by our BOMBARDIER INTERFLO 250 rail control technology.  

CONTESSA EMU train on Oresund Bridge

The popular Øresund bridge rail link with its CONTESSA regional trains and INTERFLO 250 rail control technology has successfully attracted many passengers from the road to more environmentally-friendly rail travel.

Most trains and signalling systems in service in Denmark today are from Bombardier, and the Flexliner trains have been the backbone of Danish sustainable mobility since the 1990s. DSB has 464 Flexliner cars forming 44 IR4 electric trains and 96 IC3 diesel trains. The fleet was later boosted with shorter IC2 trains with high levels of comfort and low floors for easy access to attract even more people from the roads to the rails.

Passenger numbers on Denmark’s railways are predicted to continue to rise to 2030. DSB has well developed plans to replace some of its existing fleet with energy-efficient new trains to handle traffic growth on its regional and intercity lines.  

Norway’s choice of clean electric trains

In a Kingdom prized for its beautiful fjords, landscapes and clean air, Norway selects sustainable mobility solutions as much as possible. The benefit of electric transport modes is they emit far fewer air pollutants and greenhouse gases than diesel transportation.

Between 1997 and 1998, our predecessor Adtranz supplied 16 three-car high-speed electric trains for the Airport Express link to connect the Oslo Airport at Gardemoen to central Oslo, as well as providing public transport services to the Greater Oslo area. The trains carry around 6.5 million people per year, resulting in a massive reduction in car journeys and CO2 emissions. The trains feature step-free access for easy boarding and pressure-tight cabins ensure comfortable travel through tunnels at high speeds. We refurbished the trains between 2008 and 2009, adding an intermediate car to each train increasing seating capacity by 45 per cent, from 168 to 244 passengers per train. 

Oslo Airport Express train

The sleek Oslo Airport Express train at the airport station.

Delivering for a sustainable future

Bombardier has been providing trains and rail systems to meet the needs of Nordic rail operators for decades. Our local teams are working on many exciting projects and innovations across the region and are committed to supporting politicians to deliver on their promises to provide more and better public transport – supporting sustainable economic growth and contributing to a more sustainable society.

Bombardier in the Nordics Region

Our vision is to be the preferred choice for customers’ in the Nordics with the best solutions, best service and best value. We aim to provide the best mobility solutions along the value chain and to develop long-term strategic partnerships with customers for the entire product lifecycle, as well as differentiating ourselves from competitors with excellent performance. 

Visit our Sustainability page to learn more about how our products and services are helping deliver a more sustainable future.