French-based contractor Vinci has opened the two Hallandsås railway tunnels in Sweden, following ten years of construction at a cost of €850 million.

The project began in 2004 and comprises two parallel tunnels with a length of nearly 5,500m and an interior diameter of about 9m.

Mikael Damberg, Sweden’s Minister for enterprise and innovation, Lena Erixon, Swedish Transport Administration director general and Alain Bonnot, chairman of Vinci Construction Grands Projects, all attended the opening of the tunnels, which Vinci said was the country’s most important railway infrastructure project in 40 years.

The Hallandsås tunnels are part of the national refurbishment programme of the Malmö-Gothenburg railway line.

The new line will make a strong contribution to opening up the economy of Western Sweden, according to Vinci.

The new line means the numbers of trains per day will increase from four to 24, travel time between Malmö and Gothenburg will be shortened and the load capacity of freight trains will double.

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