A Modern Office on Wheels

Susan Hinchey

The Arlanda Express pulls into Stockholm’s central station four times every hour. This sleek gray-and-yellow train makes the 26-mile trip between Stockholm Arlanda Airport and downtown in less than 20 minutes.

Inside, passengers walk on blue rugs. They sit on soft chairs that look like they belong in a modern office. Colors are simple. The windows are trimmed with light blond wood.  Riders stack their baggage in stainless steel racks near the sliding glass doors. There are large windows on either side, exposing lush scenery. Trees and fields fly by as the Arlanda Express speeds down the tracks. The ride is smooth and quiet.

The train is in pristine condition. The floors are clean; the seats are spotless and the windows are smudge-free. There is no loose trash lying around.

The Arlanda Express is Sweden’s effort at providing environmentally-friendly transportation, reducing the number of cars on the highways and the harmful gases that the cars emit.  Cars heading for the airport from downtown have to be on the road almost twice as long as the train takes.

The Arlanda Express has helped reduce pollution and improve the air quality for the more than two million people in greater Stockholm.  The train, along with the city’s subway system, its public buses and its hundreds of miles of bicycle paths helped Stockholm win recognition from the European Union as Europe’s greenest capital city in 2010.

The electric-powered train began operating in 1999.  It can reach a maximum speed of 120 miles or 200 kilometers an hour. The standard one-way fare for adults is 260 Swedish krona or about $36. A round trip is 490 Swedish krona or about $68 dollars, a savings of about $4 over the one-way fare.  Students pay about $36 for a round-trip. #

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