Work is now starting on the feasibility of a complete international train testing facility to be built along the 75 km long cross-country track between Jörn and Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden. The idea is the brainchild of Lars-Åke Tjernström, owner of McLead AB.
”In this case there were a number of impressions that caused the penny to drop. The first was the sorry sight of the dilapidated cross-country track. The second was of the headlines about derailments and weather-related disruptions to rail traffic. The third was the interest generated by the successful automotive test industry presence.
Delays to rail traffic cost society hundreds of millions of Swedish crowns annually. One of the reasons being that the trains have not been tested prior to use in the harsh Nordic weather conditions. Another is that the rail industry lacks a common quality assurance and certification system.
More small-scale tracks for train testing are currently available in, amongst other locations, the Czech Republic, where durability testing is conducted along a short circular track, and comfort testing in a wind tunnel near Vienna in Austria.
”We have perfect climatic and geographical conditions. An unused sector of track such as that between Jörn and Arvidsjaur is hard to find anywhere else, and with its topography the test track will be unique in Europe, with among other features, a straight track of 32 km”, explains Lars-Åke.
Lorents Burman, City Councillor in Skellefteå, looks positively on the opportunities:
”There are a few questions to iron out, but this is a commercial project with a huge potential”.
The test track, if it is to be built, will involve many new jobs and the scope in annual man-hours can be compared to the automotive testing industry that has already become established in the region.
The Principal for the pre-study is JUC Västerbotten. Some of the matters being investigated are market conditions, test technology requirements as well as expertise and investment needs. The work will involve regional cutting-edge expertise within several areas, among these being rail technology and certification methodology.
The project is a collaboration involving two municipal councils, two administrative counties, the local commerce interests and the State represented by the Swedish Transport Administration.
For further information
Lars-Åke Tjernström +46 70 651 94 06