A history of non-sustainable integration. High-speed trains, Europeanisation and the failure of the Nordic triangle, 1985-2005
Research Project, 2023 – 2025

The purpose of this three-year project is to analyse the failure to create a sustainable integration of Scandinavia from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. By examining the rise and fall of the ‘Nordic triangle’, the project of connecting Oslo, Stockholm and C openhagen by high-speed rail services, the research project highlights the place of business history in Nordic integration, and shows the importance of transnational perspectives in the history of transport. It builds on material previously overlooked in studies of Nordic integration, ranging from archival sources from the European Union and transnational lobby organisations to railway companies, national
transport ministries, and a variety of digital sources. The project unpacks the history of the Nordic triangle by studying three connected processes investigated in separate case studies: the creation of new visions for
Scandinavian infrastructure; the embedding of the Nordic triangle project in transport plans; and the making and unmaking of a border-crossing rail market in Scandinavia. This allows me to analyse how, in the wake of Scandinavian Europeanisation, the project was created and implemented before ultimately failing in 2005. The project provides new insights into the actors and interests that have fundamentally shaped the Scandinavian region as we know it today, contributing important historical context to today’s struggles to combine integration with sustainability.


Andreas Mørkved Hellenes (contact)

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society


Swedish Research Council (VR)

Project ID: Dnr2022-02492
Funding Chalmers participation during 2023–2025

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


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