SJ wins Stockholm to Hamburg night train contract

Posted: 6 September 2021 | | No comments yet

The Swedish Transport Administration has announced that SJ has won the procurement for Stockholm-Hamburg night train traffic, with services to start in the second half of 2022.

The procurement of the Stockholm to Hamburg night train service means that SJ – a government-owned passenger train operator in Sweden – is given overall responsibility including traffic operations, vehicle supply, ticket sales and marketing.

However, SJ will – among other things – collaborate with DSB for train driving in Denmark and RDC, Railroad Development Corporation, for staffing, carriages and train driving in Germany. The service will be run with strollers, sleeping cars and sleeping carts that have European dimensions. SJ’s Swedish carriages are too wide.

The tender work has been extensive with many international contacts. The process 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 two-year extension and covers traffic for 244 days per year.

Dan Olofsson, Head of Procured Traffic at SJ, said: “It is challenging to drive a train through three countries with different rules and technical conditions. The work with the tender has been characterised by creating good collaborations and finding effective solutions for driving across national borders.”

According to the preliminary timetable, the night train will depart Stockholm early in the evening and arrive in Hamburg between 06:00 and 07:00.

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 06:00 and 07:00. A good arrival time for those who want to travel further. The train departs from Hamburg after 21:00 and arrives in Stockholm at approximately 10:00. 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.

Maria Hofberg, responsible for international night train traffic at SJ, said: “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.”

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.

Maria continued: “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.”