Swedish rail operator SJ AB has announced a night train service from Sweden‘s capital Stockholm to Hansestadt Hamburg in Germany from 2022. At least for now there will not be a nigh train service from Malmö to Brussels.
The Swedish Transport Administration announced that SJ has won the procurement for night train traffic Stockholm – Hamburg. Traffic will start during the second half of 2022.
No-one applied for the Malmö – Brussels procurement.
These past months, quite a few possible night trains to and from Brussels were announced. Malmö – Brussels, Brussels – Barcelona, two Brussels – Berlin services.
European Sleeper has taken over the Moonlight Express project. For now there won’t be a Scandinavian link and there’s no news about Brussels – Barcelona, which would have been organised by Moonlight Express. And yes, there’s also the Midnight Trains project.
So, for now, there’s only the Nightjet to Vienna.
Stockholm – Hamburg
The procurement of night train traffic Stockholm – Hamburg means that SJ is given overall responsibility that includes traffic operations, including vehicle supply, ticket sales and marketing, but driving night trains out into Europe requires cooperation.
SJ will, among other things, collaborate with DSB for train driving in Denmark and Railroad Development Corporation (RDC), for staffing, carriages and train driving in Germany. RDC becomes SJ’s main partner.
The service will be run with rolling stock that has European dimensions. SJ’s Swedish carriages are too wide.
The tender work has been extensive with many international contacts. It has been a rewarding process that has led to SJ being able to present an attractive offer, both in terms of content and finances. The agreement is for four years with a possible extension of two years and covers traffic for 244 days per year.
“It is challenging to drive a train through three countries with different rules and technical conditions. The work with the tender has been characterized by creating good collaborations and finding effective solutions for driving across national borders”, says Dan Olofsson, head of procured traffic at SJ, in a press release.
The night trains will be advertised as SJ EuroNight and will be part of the network of European night trains which, after many years of decline, is now growing and becoming increasingly popular.
SJ will work closely with other operators to create as good conditions as possible for Swedes to start and end their European journey with the night train to / from Hamburg.
According to the preliminary timetable, the night train will depart Stockholm early in the evening and arrive in Hamburg between 6AM and 7AM. A good arrival time for those who want to travel further. The train departs from Hamburg after 9PM and arrives in Stockholm at approximatively 10AM. Traffic will start during the second half of 2022.
After Copenhagen, the night trains cross the Great and Little Belt Bridges and then continue towards Hamburg. The trains will have Swedish- and German-speaking staff and a simpler service will be offered on board the train.
“All details about how we will run the night trains are not yet in place. For example, we work to create as good connection opportunities as possible to and from the night train. We want to make it possible for as many people as possible to take the train to the continent and attract as many Europeans as possible to travel to Sweden”, says Maria Hofberg, responsible for international night train traffic at SJ.
The new night train service to Hamburg and the SJ sales of international train tickets, which started a few months ago, are two examples of SJ’s long-term investment in increased traffic abroad.
“Interest interest in international train travel is increasing. At SJ, we want to be part of that development. Our planning includes, among other things, denser and more efficient traffic to and from Copenhagen when the high-speed trains from the continent reach the Danish capital”, says Maria Hofberg.
The procurement is a result of the January agreement between the government, the Center Party and the Liberals from 2019.
Headquartered in Hamburg, RDC Deutschland is a subsidiary of the family-owned Railroad Development Corporation in Pittsburgh, USA. In Germany, RDC has been active since 2009 and currently runs night trains and car trains in Germany and Austria. RDC also rents out rolling stock to other operators.
SJ is a Swedish travel company that offers sustainable train travel under its own auspices and in collaboration with others. “SJ is one of Sweden’s greenest brands and part of the solution for achieving climate goals. The Group’s 5,400 employees in Sweden and Norway all contribute to increased train travel – the way to travel in the future.”
As a market-leading train operator, SJ connects Sweden, Norway, as well as Scandinavia’s capitals, and every day our customers and employees meet on one of our 1,500 departures from over 400 stations. SJ is owned by the Swedish state and has the task of operating profitable passenger transport by rail.
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