Chronicle SA 2022-08-25
A spokesperson for Trafikverket’s strategic planning recently stated to me that if we co-works with a larger construction company regarding maglev train tracks, the Swedish Transport Administration could do an alternative market analysis. It sounds positive, you might think.
However, one of our largest construction companies, Skanska, has recently submitted a report to the Swedish Transport Administration and many politicians therefore advocate high-speed trains on so-called land bridges. Such a construction requires an enormous amount of concrete. After all, Skanska wants to build with a lot of concrete because it pays off for them. Maglev trains probably provide approx. 60-70% less concrete in the construction. Now, how do you convince a major construction company that a maglev track is better because it requires much less concrete?
The Swedish Transport Administration is welcome to suggest contacts with such a “non-profit” construction company.
On August 23, 2022, I showed in the Swedish technology magazine “Ny Teknik”that our top politicians are also heavily exposed to lobbying from Skanska and are therefore careless with the technology issue. The fact that they would meet with non-profit associations to get factual information is not included.
In March 2022, an association www.dsmg.se (Den Skandinaviska Magnettågsgruppen) was formed based on more than six years of activity on social media, as previous activities did not yield results. Lobby organizations always start from existing structures. When it comes to breakthrough technology (i e disruptive technology) that is developed in other countries, there are no existing lobby groups within Sweden. Sweden therefore needs monitoring of new technological developments that are impartial and climate neutral. Today, the whole world is trying to create breakthroughs to improve the climate, for example maglev trains that have a low climate footprint. Sweden needs a technology evaluation institution that can provide us with facts about potential breakthrough technologies, in the same way that the institution for statistics “SCB” that provides us with statistical data today.
An indication of the strength of the international development of maglev trains is the fact of the 18 new types of maglev train cars that have been produced in the world in the last three years, mainly in China (Kenji Eiler, The International Maglev Board, 2022-04-08).
My six years of debating about maglev trains show that the Swedish Transport Administration’s strategic planning department does not give us any serious ground facts in this technology area. Therefore, instead of new technology, it will be a high-speed train in Sweden, which when it is completed will be outdated and then appear like an open-air museum.
Professor of Business Administration, Strömstad Academy