I got this idea around 2002 when I was thinking about the future of Sweden. Not so serious, more as an amusement. Over the years I have added to the concept.
So, what would become of Sweden? Would the Swedish high-tech development and production stay in Sweden? If such knowledge-demanding professions decreased in Sweden, and services like the transport booking for elderly people was bought from other countries, what would the effect be on the Swedish economy? Would the salaries decrease, to compete with low-cost industrial production units?
Sweden has a rather good education system, with nine years mandatory school and good opportunities to continue studying. How would that be affected?
What do Sweden have, that could be used in the competition of proceeds and need for workers of a wide variation of skills?
Here I tell you about the idea. (I haven't polished the language enough, but...)
The concept will be based on environmentally friendly solutions, and the benefits for the local communities.
All theme parks will be constructed to ensure the visitors that their holiday will not be wasted due to bad weather.
There will be various service levels at reasonable prices.
The main transportation to and in the theme parks will be by electric trains.
The theme parks
Each park will have three themes, to better meet the wishes of families and groups of visitors with different preferences. A few themes will be included in all the parks, such as "Nordic fairy tales". Each theme will include both outdoor and indoor attractions and activities. There will be a wide use of technical solutions.
Among the themes you find culture, history, nature, sports and technology. Local culture will be included in all theme parks.
One theme is "Nordic history", with offers to try to live like they did in various centuries and learn to use their equipment. That theme will include exhibitions about the many wars fought between the people of the Nordic countries, and what happened that brought the long period of peace.
"Swedish transports" gives you the possibility to learn to use the kick-sled and to drive electric replicas of old cars that were made in Sweden. Naturally the driver will recieve a certificate. There will also be large museums with various vehicles (today many vehicles can't be exhibited in the existing museums), driving schools for eco-driving et cetera.
Where suitable existing former mines and other structures will be used for parts of the parks, as well as natural areas. At one park a part of a mountain side will be covered in a glass building to allow climbing without the problems of rain and wind.
You can choose between comfort like living outdoors to a comfort equivalent to the cruise liners. Be active, or enjoy relaxing walks.
Each park has its own web entrance, with different layouts for children and adults. With the equipment in your room (or tent) you can mark the activities you have participated in, and get a personalized souvenir DVD (or memory stick) when departing.
The wagons have flexible interior to allow family compartments and a few conference settings. You can choose between normal wagons or special wagons where the content of your chosen theme park will begin as soon as the train departs. With a light-weight helmet you can switch the European landscape outside the windows to a helicopter ride over a landscape or maybe a journey in outer space. The movements of the train will be coordinated with the film.
In all wagons you can choose to listen to local music in the area of your chosen theme park, or find information about the area and the theme. Naturally there are also other channels to use. You can log in with the code you received with the ticket, and find your own welcome page.
You will be served refreshments onboard. An idea is to let the train make a two hour stop in southern Sweden for a more descent meal. Here you also can choose to make a stop-over to see more of the area, and continue to the theme park a day or two later.
The train will stop at some larger cities on their way to and from Sweden. It will be possible for business travellers to buy only the train ticket, at a fare that makes the train journey between the cities more attractive than with airplane.
There are also ideas about a high-speed train from Moscow via Helsinki and northern Finland.
As the theme parks in Sweden are opened, existing railways in the east-west directions will be upgraded. This will allow the visitors to visit both the Swedish eastern coast and Norway, the western neighbour of Sweden.
In Sweden, and as much as possible in other countries, the trains will be powered by electricity from environment-friendly power sources.
There will be a limited number of visitors, for several reasons, but enough to meet economic demands for operations, maintenance and investments in among other new technologies.
The limitations for each park will be based on the balance between the visitors activities in the nature and the preservation of the nature. Solutions are to spread the activities in various areas, eventually with periods of no activities to let the nature recover, and to arrange attractive local transportations between the most visited areas.
No parks will be based on mass consumption. Food, souvenirs, suitable equipment and clothes for the visitors will as far as possible be of local or regional production. Visits to among other farms will be included in the local culture themes.
Electricity will be produced in power stations using waterfalls, wind and sun. Additional sources that are planned is to use the wind and magnetic effects from the trains, where generators along the tracks will produce additional energy as the trains pass. The climate with snow in the winter may prevent some of the effects, which is a challenge. (However, the climate change effects in Sweden are predicted to give warmer temperature, less snow and more rain. Positive for the prodution from hydroelectric power stations, if nothing else.)
Construction and operation
The high-speed trains will run on new separate tracks. They will to a large part follow the "Inlandsbanan", the elder railway in western Sweden that runs in a north-southern direction. "Inlandsbanan" will be used both as a part of the local themes and for service transports for the parks.
Some towns along the tracks will grow. There will be a number of people working in the parks and in the various companies that support the parks with among others new attractions and food.
The construction and the running of the parks will demand skilled employees. Engineers with various specialities, technicians, translators, guides and several others.
Existing and new companies will work with innovations in among others digital display techniques and simulators, with environment-friendly food handling and with several other tasks that will keep a high level of demand for skilled people in Sweden.
2 October 2009 AG Informice www.granfoss.se/aginformice Arne Granfoss ©