Swedish government explores new cross-border sleeper services

"VAN" (Europe Bureau - International Desk) :: Swedish government has directed infrastructure manager Trafikverket to investigate the prospect of launching daily overnight services, which would allow onward connections to several European cities.

The project includes submitting proposals for routes and destinations and an assessment of the costs for the state. Trafikverket will analyse existing services and asses the need for additional overnight services to Europe, study legal and technical conditions, and outline ways to acquire suitable rolling stock.

Trafikverket says the basis for the proposal is whether the service is balanced and cost-effective. The government is pursuing the initiative as part of its plans to become emissions neutral while providing opportunities to travel with minimal environmental impact.

Trafikverket will provide an update to the government no later than January 15 2020, which will outline rolling stock requirements, implementation timetable and cost assessment. The final report, due by April 30 2020, will look at options for acquiring new coaches and outline how the services could be transferred to a commercial operator.

The report will investigate the possibilities for part-financing by other countries, and Trafikverket must present an assessment of the possibilities of reaching agreements with the relevant public transport authorities in other countries to decide on public service obligations for the proposed services.

Sweden currently has one overnight service to continental Europe, operating three times a week during the summer between Malmo and Berlin, with internal overnight services operating between Stockholm and Malmo, and from Stockholm and Gothenburg to northern Sweden and Narvik.

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