Systra, a French engineering and consulting group specialising in rail and public transport, has begun tunnelling work on the Västlänken (West Link) project in Gothenburg, the largest infrastructure project on the Swedish west coast.
Being constructed under the centre of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, the 8km double-track railway West Link includes a 6km tunnel.
The project value is around SEK20bn ($2.42bn) and is expected to be completed in 2026.
The tunnel will connect commuter rail services to routes passing through the city. The project involves the construction of two new stations at Haga and Korsvägen. Gothenburg Central Station will be converted from a terminus to an underground transit station.
Project coordinators have already commenced work on the two stations at Haga, where the tunnelling work has begun, and Korsvägen.
In addition, Systra secured two construction manager contracts in 2017 and is currently working as sub-contractor to engineering and design company ÅF for the West Link.
Recently, the company won two more construction manager contracts for the crossover tracks in Olskroken, a sub-project of the West Link.
West Link is part of The Western Swedish Package, which includes infrastructure projects for trains, buses, trams, bicycles and cars.
The Western Swedish Package is an initiative of Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration, which aims to contribute to positive and sustainable growth in the western part of Sweden.
The West Link will allow commuter and regional trains to pass through Gothenburg, allowing travellers to spread out at more stations in the city and ease the pressure on Gothenburg Central Station and the public transport system.
Five railway lines converge at Olskroken, most of them on the same level, and passenger and goods trains pass through the junction, making it one of the most intensive nodes for rail traffic in Sweden.
Olskroken is being converted into a grade-separated junction to increase the capacity of the rail system.
Consultant Lars Malmqvist said: “Working on the West Link and related sub-projects represents a major achievement for our teams in Sweden and enhances our relationship with our longstanding client Trafikverket.
“Construction work will take place in a dense urban environment in direct contact with traffic, housing and business premises.
“During the works great attention will therefore have to be paid to the surroundings and to the people likely to be affected. I thank the teams involved and I am fully confident that they will overcome these challenges.”
Systra teams are also working on the OLP3 stretch of Ostlänken (East Link), Sweden’s first high-speed line, in collaboration with colleagues from Paris and Systra Poland.
Image: Korsvägen new station. Photo: Courtesy of Trafikverket / SYSTRA.