Sweden’s Hallandsås railway tunnels have been officially opened after 10 years of works and investment of €850M (£616M) as part of the national refurbishment programme for the Malmö-Gothenburg railway line.
The opening ceremony was attended by Sweden’s minister for enterprise and innovation Mikael Damberg, Swedish Transport Administration director general Lena Erixon and Vinci Construction Grands Projets chairman Alain Bonnot ahead of the line being opened to traffic on 15 December.
The scheme – described as the country’s most important railway infrastructure project in 40 years – was initiated in 1970 but did not effectively get underway until 2004, following two previous attempts by other companies to build them.
Vinci and its Swedish partner Skanska bored through a complex geological formation to construct two parallel tunnels with a unit length of nearly 5,500m and an interior diameter of approximately 9m.
The project will increase the railway line’s capacity from four to 24 trains per day, shorten the commute between Malmö and Gothenburg, and double the load capacity of freight trains.