Since this week, trains run between Malmö and Lund on a new four-track railway, announced the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket). This significantly increases traffic capacity, and with the upcoming timetable change means more trains on the tracks.
Between September 22 and October 8, all train traffic was completely or partially suspended between Malmö and Lund to finalise the works. Between Malmö and Lund, the Lund-Arlöv stretch has been expanded from two to four tracks. Construction of the section between Flackarp and Arlöv started in autumn 2017, and of the section between Flackarp and Klostergården in Lund in spring 2020, and now the sections have been connected and put into operation. The railway between Arlöv and Malmö railway station had already been expanded to four tracks.
On Monday, two of the new tracks were opened to traffic, and now that the final track works are complete, the other two tracks could also be opened. With four tracks in operation, the stations in Åkarp and Hjärup are also open again. “It feels fantastic, we have worked hard for this for many years”, said Jens-Peter Eisenschmidt, the Swedish Transport Administration’s project manager for the Malmö–Lund railway project. The entire project cost about 5.4 billion Swedish Krona (466 million euros). The project is co-financed by the Region Skåne, the municipalities of Burlöv, Staffanstorp and Lund, as well as the EU.
Now, the traffic is running again just as planned, but it will still take some time before there is full capacity on the tracks, according to Trafikverket. The first time trains run on the new tracks, they have to run at a reduced speed, in order for the tracks to settle properly. Until October 27, the trains will therefore run at approximately 80 kilometres per hour.
More capacity, more trains will follow
The new tracks mean a substantial increase in capacity on the route between Malmö and Lund. The amount of trains can be increased from the previous 460 to 650 trains per day. The fact that the railway was built at a depth of six meters through Åkarp and a depth of four meters through Hjärup also means that noise disturbance for people who live near the tracks is reduced. Through Arlöv and between Hjärup and Lund, the railway is built at ground level.
For passengers, the big difference will be felt when the timetable changes on 10 December. Then, the Pågatågen trains will have four departures per hour in each direction and stop at all intermediate stations, and Burlövs station will become a commuter station where Öresund trains stops. Until then, there is already the advantage that high-speed trains that are not supposed to stop on the platforms can keep running on the middle tracks, while trains on the outer tracks can stop, which gives a smoother traffic flow with less risk of interruptions.
The stations in Åkarp and Hjärup have been rebuilt, and a brand new station in at Klostergården is ready to be opened in connection with the timetable change in December. “In addition, we have built new passages for car traffic, pedestrians and cyclists along the route. It reduces the railway’s so-called barrier effect and is not perceived as much as an obstacle”, says Eisenschmidt.
Source : Railtech