Spårvägsforum attracted light rail sector to Lidingö
In november it was time for the fall edition of Spårvägsforum to return, and it was the association's first physical event since 2019.
The interest to participate was high, and the event was fully booked. We were excited to welcome participants from all over Europe, including but not exclusive to Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Austria who all wanted to learn more about what's new in the light rail sector. Apart from interesting presentations, participants also got the chance to do a study trip along Lidingö light rail and have dinner together.
After the participants arrived on our chartered light rail train directly into our auditorium, Lars H Ericsson, former CSO and light rail expert kicked off the conference with a cavalcade about what Liding light rail has meant through the city throughout the times and what is planned for the future. After the presentation participants took a trip on the fairly recently renovated light rail to the end station at Gåshaga brygga, all guided by Ericsson.
When the brief study visit was over, Carl Silfverhielm, rail strategist at Stockholm Region took over and gave us a wider overview on how light rail will be expanded in Stockholm in the future, and what considerations have been taken in the 2050-plan for the region. This was followed by a panel discussion around the extension of tramway City, where local politicians such as Lars H Ericsson, Daniel Källenfors and Daniel Helldén participated. The conclusion is that everyone wants the extension, but the financing is not quite there and that's where region - who was absent from the panel - plays a big part.
Before the day was concluded, Torbjörn Lundell from Lundell architects gave participants an introduction to automatic people movers, a concept we so far haven't got in Sweden, but can absolutely be included under the light rail umbrella.
Day 2 was the Forum's international day, and was started by Patrick Laval, journalist, who gave us an overview regarding the come back of public transport in France during covid. It has been noted that it is moving in the right direction, but there are challenges still. A more technical presentation followed when Ollipekka Heikkälä told us more about the innovation in Skoda Transtech's new trams that are being delivered to Helsinki and was recently delivered to Tampere.
After a well needed coffee break Johan Haveland from Asistobe took us for a dive into the world of artificial intelligence and how it can save on operational expenses in tramways, before Systra represented by Alexande Sautter and Filippa Jansson presented the Uppsala light rail program document after which the conference concluded.
In all participants were really happy to be able to meet again in person. The spring's Spårvägsforum will be held in Gothenburg May 5-6th 2022.