X 2000, also called X2, is a tilting train operated by SJ in Sweden. It was constructed by Kalmar Verkstad in Kalmar, Sweden (prior to the company being bought by Adtranz in 1996) and launched in 1990 as a first-class only train with a meal included in the ticket price, and free use of the train's fax machine. There is a bistro on board that serves snack bar-style dishes. From 1995 second class was introduced.
"X 2000" was originally a brand name for a number of train connections with a certain service level. Generally the X2 train is used, but because of lack of vehicles, sometimes (especially in 2009/2010) other train types have been used, like X40 or Rc loco-hauled stock. Since December 2011, all high speed services of SJ using X2 or X55 trains are called "SJ Snabbtåg" or "SJ High-speed train".
The train's designated top speed is 210 km/h (130 mph). It reached 276 km/h (171 mph) during a trial run with double locomotive units in 1993. The maximum speed allowed in regular traffic is 200 km/h (120 mph) for safety reasons – the signal system (and systems like the catenary) are not built for more, and it shares the track with regular trains (like in most countries); also, most of the lines it uses were built in the mid to late 19th century. The 19th century railways Stockholm-Gothenburg/Malmö are relatively straight, since they were planned the shortest way without taking intermediate cities into account, and the landscape is relatively flat. Other 19th century railways are generally curvier.
In comparison to other high-speed trains, the X 2000 is not particularly fast; but compared to regular train services, it cuts journey time by about 10% – enough to make it competitive with airlines on many routes. It typically averages about 150 km/h (93 mph). The fastest part is Katrineholm–Skövde, a distance of 180 km (110 mi) that is covered in 1h 2min, resulting in an average speed of 174.2 km/h (108.2 mph).
In 2000-2004, seven trains were operated by Linx on the lines Oslo-Gothenburg-Malmö-Copenhagen and Oslo-Stockholm. Linx was a joint venture between SJ and its Norwegian counterpart NSB. It was wound up when SJ wanted to move the trains to more profitable lines in Sweden. Low-fares airlines also played a part in siphoning off passengers from the comparatively slow Linx services, the main ones taking well in excess of three hours.
All trains are equipped with Wi-Fi for passenger access to the Internet and were repainted grey as of 2005. The trains also have electric power supply sockets at all seats in both first and second class. The trains have been fitted with repeaters to improve mobile phone reception.
Impact on the railway
The train has had a major effect on SJ and the country's railway. More passengers, together with the lower operating costs associated with operating trains faster and more efficiently, helped SJ become profitable.
It also proved to Swedes that rail is a viable solution not just in exotic densely populated foreign countries, but also at home in Sweden. In 1991, the government started a massive investment program, spending 5-10 billion kronor annually on improvements to the rail network. The program continues today. A milestone was reached in the late nineties when the number of trips taken by train in Sweden exceeded the 1940s level for the first time.
New links built since 1990 include the Øresund Bridge, the Arlanda Airport link, Södertälje–Huddinge, Söderhamn–Enånger, Varberg–Kungsbacka and Helsingborg–Lund. The X 2000 train contributed to building public support for these large projects.
The fast-growing popularity of the trains has created problems with capacity. The time taken for the X 2000 trains were longer in 2008 than in 2000. For Stockholm–Malmö the fastest train took 21 minutes more time than in 2000. It is the congestion on the railways that impedes the fast trains, especially the prioritized fastest connections. The railways are used by fast X 2000 trains, slower passenger trains, and much slower freight trains.
The X 2000 network consists of the following lines:
- Stockholm–Gothenburg, calling at Södertälje Syd, Katrineholm or Hallsberg, Skövde, Herrljunga (occasionally), Alingsås (occasionally) and Gothenburg
- Stockholm–Oslo, calling at Södertälje Syd, Katrineholm, Hallsberg, Degerfors, Kristinehamn, Karlstad and Arvika before crossing the border to Norway, calling at Kongsvinger and finally Oslo S
- Stockholm–Malmö, with many trains continuing to Copenhagen, calling at Flemingsberg or Södertälje Syd, Norrköping, Linköping, Mjölby and/or Tranås (occasionally), Nässjö, Alvesta, Älmhult (occasionally), Hässleholm, Lund and Malmö. Services to Copenhagen also call at Copenhagen Airport, Copenhagen Central Station and Østerport (usually). For a short period during 2010-2011, there was one daily train to/from Odense.
- Stockholm-Sundsvall, with one daily departure, calling at Arlanda, Uppsala, Gävle, Söderhamn, Hudiksvall and Sundsvall.
With X2000 being in high demand SJ ordered 20 X55 Bombardier Regina trains in 2008 to replace the X 2000 on lines where its performance cannot be fully utilized. When these trains are delivered the X 2000 will be concentrated to the main lines of Stockholm-Malmö/Copenhagen and Stockholm-Gothenburg, using double-length X 2000 between Stockholm and Gothenburg during rush hours and weekends.
The manufacturer of X 2000 has tried to sell the train to other countries than Sweden, but with mixed success. In connection with the sales attempts the train was tested and demonstrated in some countries.
An X 2000 toured the United States in 1992/1993 on lease to Amtrak. It was tested by Amtrak from October 1992 until January 1993. It was used in revenue service on the Northeast Corridor between New York City and Washington, D.C. for about five months, from February until May and from August until September. From May until July it was taken on a national tour around the 48 continental states for demonstration stops at significant stations. It also toured parts of Canada.
In 1995, three X 2000 cars were hired by Australian operator CountryLink for evaluation purposes, being one driving trailer, one bistro car and one first class car. The trains were towed in a push/pull moden by modified XPT power cars XP2000 and XP2009. After conducting a statewide tour of New South Wales in March 1995, they were used on Sydney to Canberra services from April 1995 until June 1995.
China also purchased a X 2000 train named "Xinshisu" (New Speed). The train served as Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train on the Guangshen Railway from 1998 until 2007. It was delivered to Sichuan Province in August 2007 when it was replaced by an CRH1A. Due to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Chengdu Railway Bureau needed to rebuild the railway networks in Sichuan Province. Also, the authority could not carry the maintenance costs of the train. It was therefore returned to Guangshen Railway Company in late December 2008. In 2012 the train was purchased by SJ and shipped back to Sweden. The train had some serious damage and maintenance was partially cancelled. The power car (2088 CX2) and the trailer cab (110986 CUB2XFK) were scrapped after being display at the Swedish Railway Museum. Five of the trailer cars (110987 through 110991 CUBS2FK) were repaired and entered service.
- Vantuono, William C. (June 1993). "Touring the Empire Corridor with the X 2000 - high-speed train starts cross-country tour in New York State". Railway Age. Archived from the original on 15 February 2006. Retrieved 31 July 2006.
- X2000 heads south Railway Gazette International December 1994 page 777
- "So why do you call it a tilt train?" Railway Digest July 1995
- X2 2088 arrives from China Today's Railways Europe issue 202 October 2012 page 53
- Chinese X2000 in Sweden Today's Railways Europe issue 203 November 2012 page 56
- SJ2000 sets to be refurbished Today's Railways Europe issue 219 March 2014 page 54