Twice As Fast, Half the Cost

Donald Holder

The Arlanda Express takes 20 minutes to get downtown from Stockholm Arlanda Airport.  It takes a taxi almost twice as long and the taxi costs about twice as much.

Inside the train, the seats are cushy. In each compartment, travelers stack their luggage on glass and stainless steel racks near the sliding doors. Everyone seems to be lounging.

In a country serious about the environment, the sleek Arlanda Express is a model of efficiency and convenience, an environmentally friendly alternative to cars and buses.  The train station is built into the airport and moving from plane to train is an easy walk. The train runs every 15 minutes and unlike cars and buses, the train does not spew exhaust fumes.

The standard one-way ticket for the Arlanda express is 260 Swedish krona or about $36 – about half the cost of a taxi.  A round trip on the train is 490 Swedish krona or about $68 dollars, a savings of about $4 over two one-way tickets.   For students, the cost of a round trip is about $36.

Once travelers are seated in the first-class style lounge seats or at business-like desks, the Express takes off into the green countryside. In no time, the train is rushing past trees, fields of flowers, clumps of tall pine trees and rustic buildings.  A flat screen video monitor shows the train’s speed – it can hit 120 miles or 200 kilometers an hour – the outside temperature and the local time.

In no time, it seemed, the train was at the central station in downtown Stockholm, the hub for a subway system that runs throughout the city. The Central Station is like a little city filled with bakeries, clothing boutiques, tobacco shops, grocery stores, restaurants and bars.  #

 

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