is a tilting high speed train
that straddles the gap
between ordinary trains and "real" bullet trains like the TGV
. While the X2000 allows a maximum speed of only 200 km/h,
compared to 300+ for TGV, the tilting mechanism allows it run curves
on normal track at higher speed without significant modifications to the
track itself, making it far cheaper to take into use at approximately $0.5 million
per km, as opposed to $9-18 million/km for building dedicated high-speed track.
Do note that the X2000 was by no means the first train to use this idea,
the Italian Pendolino
was up and running 10 years earlier, and the
X2000 differs primarily in having only the passenger cars tilt instead
of the entire train.
The X2000 was concieved and ordered by SJ (formerly Statens Järnvägar, ie.
Swedish State Railways, but now a stand-alone acronym)
and the first unit was delivered in 1990 for use on the Stockholm-Gothenburg
(Göteborg) corridor. The main contractor was ADtranz, now a part of
Bombardier, which is in turn a part of ABB. An improved
version of the X2000, dubbed X2-2, is now in use and the design
of a 3rd version theoretically capable of up to 300 km/h is under way.
After the runaway success of the initial route X2000 trains have been
taken into use on all long-distance express routes in Sweden.
China has also constructed a
X2000 network dubbed Xinshisu
("new speed level") running between Guangzhou (aka Canton), Shenzhen
and Kowloon (in Hong Kong). The Great North Eastern Railway in the UK
has also ordered an X2000 fleet for planned service between London, Yorkshire
the North East and Scotland. X2000 technology was also considered
for Amtrak's Acela Express, now running between Washington D.C. and
Boston, but it was deemed too expensive and TGV technology was