X2C (X2000)

Rolling stock • Block train • Sweden • SJ • X2C (X2000)

Summary: X 2000 is a Swedish express train concept built by Kalmar Verkstad and ABB. The first train set was tested in autumn 1989 and entered regular service between Gothenburg and Stockholm in September 1990 under the commercial name X 2000. The X2000 trains are designed primarily to operate on long-distance lines. The X2000 is a tilting train that can negotiate curves at a slightly higher speed than other long-distance trains in Sweden. Only the carriages are tilted using a hydraulic system, as the locomotive does not tilt. The X2000 is currently classified X2C after a refurbishment phase, and the SJ (Statens Järnvägar – State Railways) is the only user.

Note: this page is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for the official page of the operating company or manufacturer.

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The X2000 is a trainset designed for the Swedish national operator SJ (Statens Järnvägar). Contrary to popular belief, this is not a high-speed train, but rather a train set that incorporates a solution for tilting the bodies to increase speed on curves, as Sweden currently has no high-speed trains.

Background and development

During the 1980s, SJ began to explore the possibilities of increasing the speeds of its trains to improve journeys between Sweden’s major cities. The idea was part of a wider project to modernise and make more efficient the country’s rail network, which also included a large number of single-track lines.

A first prototype of the X2000 was presented in 1986, but the first train set was tested later, in autumn 1989. The X2000 was distinguished by its tilting technology, which enabled the train to travel faster around curves without compromising passenger comfort.


The X2000 was officially launched in 1990, on its first commercial journey from Stockholm to Gothenburg. This marked the start of a new era for SJ, where journeys between major cities could be made much more quickly than before.

During the 1990s, SJ expanded its fleet of X2000 trains to include more destinations, including Malmö and then, with the opening of the Öresund Bridge in July 2000, all the way to Copenhagen. The train quickly became popular with business travellers and others who appreciated the shorter journey times and new-found comfort, marking a departure from the traditional hauled trains operated by SJ.

Tilting technology

The X2000 can travel at speeds of up to 210 km/h, making it one of the fastest trains in Sweden at the time of its introduction. However, there are few sections of line available at this speed. It is therefore by adding up the gains from speed increases on curves that we can shorten the journey time between two cities.

Basic operation
The tilting technology allows the train to automatically tilt towards the inside of curves. This reduces the centrifugal force felt by passengers, allowing the train to take bends at higher speeds while maintaining a high level of comfort. The tilting technology was developed by the British company BREL (British Rail Engineering Limited – acquired by ADtranz, then Bombardier and now Alstom).

In practice, the X2000 uses an active tilting system, which means that the system uses a series of sensors to detect the entry and exit of curves. These sensors send information to a central control system that automatically adjusts the inclination of the cars.

Each car in the train is equipped with hydraulic or electromechanical mechanisms that adjust the inclination of the cars in response to commands from the control system. This ensures a rapid and precise response to track curves.

Improvements to trains

A renovation programme was implemented in stages across the entire fleet. This was an initiative to modernise and upgrade the older X2000 trainsets to make them more efficient, comfortable and competitive in the market.

In January 2014, SJ awarded ABB a €200 million contract to replace traction converters, transformers, battery chargers, train control systems and passenger information and entertainment equipment.

In 2017, SJ awarded another contract, this time to Perpetuum – now Hitachi Rail – to supply remote axle condition monitoring equipment for its fleet of X2000 tilting trainsets, as well as a 10-year service contract for maintenance. This was the 10th fleet of trains in the world to be equipped with Perpetuum technology, a first in Scandinavia.

The system provided continuous analysis of track, bearing and wheel condition data, enabling SJ to shift its wheelset maintenance regime from distance-based to asset condition-based, which amounted to predictive maintenance.

X2C version

In April 2016, SJ signed a €300 million contract with Swedtrac, a subsidiary of Knorr Bremse, to modernise a total of 227 cars in a project known as the X2C project. Prose Suisse, which advised Swedtrac during the tender phase, was responsible for project management, electrical and mechanical engineering, certification and Rams.

Before the renovation work began, an in-depth planning phase was carried out to determine the specific needs of each X2000 trainset and to draw up a detailed renovation plan. Initially somewhat underestimated, each refurbishment ultimately took between six and nine months, so the planned release of a first trainset in 2019 was significantly delayed, with the pandemic pushing the delay even further.

One challenge was to increase seating capacity by 15%. The renovation work itself involved a series of stages, such as the dismantling and overhaul of existing components, the installation of new equipment and systems, and extensive testing to ensure compliance with safety and performance standards. All seats, carpets, interior panels and luggage racks were replaced, and the trains equipped with a bistro and kitchenette were redesigned in first class.

The cars have been fitted with modern lighting, more functional toilets and wheelchair spaces. Information systems, seat numbering and areas such as toilets, vestibules, wheelchair spaces and bistros were also designed in cooperation with representatives of various disabled people’s organisations.

The first completely refurbished trainset rolled out in November 2021, to operate on the main Stockholm-Göteborg line. Others followed in 2022 and in May 2023, a renovated train appeared on the Stockholm-Malmö route. The complete renovation programme for the 227 cars is scheduled for 2027. 🟧

Rolling stock • Block train • Sweden • SJ • Lexical