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Technological systems in co-operation: the electrification of Riksgränsbanan railway
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0605-577X
2008 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Present paper constitutes a part of a Licentiate thesis in History of Technology with the purpose of analyzing and describing the co-operation and the challenges regarding technological, organizational and logistical issues which the Swedish State Railways (SJ) and the involved companies LKAB, Siemens and ASEA, was facing during the electrification of Riksgränsbanan railway. An important explanation behind Sweden's rapid economical growth during the period 1870-1970 was the long-termed co-operations established between governmental departments and private large-scale companies. These cooperations came to be of utmost importance to both Swedish societal development and to the development of the companies involved. The Licentiate thesis is going to examine such a cooperation with the intention to analyse how the state and private companies could work together concerning the development of new technology in order to increase the capacity of transportation, profit and reliability. This paper will present the reasons and technoloical prerequisites behind the electrification of Riksgränsbanan railway. It will also present a brief outline of the theories used regarding innovation processes in a micro level perspective and how the electrification of Riksgränsbanan railway fit into a larger system approach.Riksgränsbanan railway is the northermost railway line in Sweden, reaching about 130 kilometres between the municipality of Kiruna and Riksgränsen (the national border between Sweden and Norway). This was the first major section of a national railway line in regular traffic to be electrified in Sweden during the beginning of the twentieth century, 1910-1915. This railway line was important due to the large amount of iron ore that was transported from the ore mines in Kiruna to the shipping ports in Narvik, Norway and Luleå, Sweden. The Swedish state entered as a part-owner in the mining company LKAB (Loussavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag) during 1907 and soon they decided to increase the amount of iron ore to be exported in the years to come. In order to succeed the Swedish State Railways (SJ) had to either invest large amounts of money into the existing system with steam engines or develop a new system based on electrical power. The construction of a new technological system consisting of a cluster of concurrent systems was also probably influenced by the sociotechnical landscape, for instance the Swedish technological nationalism, coal prices, pollution and later the First World War. The electrification of Riksgränsbanan railway was in many ways a trailblaizing project where new technologies was developed and launched on a rather troublesome railway line, considering the harsh climate and geographical location.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History of Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-32306Local ID: 6c425c50-a4e4-11dd-8802-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-32306DiVA, id: diva2:1005540
Conference
International Conference on the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility : 18/09/2008 - 21/09/2008
Note
Godkänd; 2008; Bibliografisk uppgift: CD-ROM; 20081028 (roiwik)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved

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