Sweden - General Information
- 1 Country Name
- 2 National Railway System
- 3 Language
- 4 Currency
- 5 UIC code
- 6 Timetable
- 7 Maps
- 8 Infrastructure
- 9 Other railways
- 10 Tourist lines
- 11 Metro
- 12 Trams
- 13 Recent and future changes
- 14 Special Notes
- 15 See also
National Railway System
National Railway Operator
Most long distance train services are operated by SJ AB. SJ AB has adopted a policy of not bidding for all regionally financed services, so its share of the total traffic is reduced. Most (old)SJ activities are being devolved into three subsidiaries:
- SJ AB – Passenger services.
- Green Cargo AB (GC) – Freight.
- Swedcarrier AB – Service divisions - Now privatised.
The other major passenger operators are Arlanda Express, Arriva (which now also includes DB Regio), Skandinaviska Jernbanor (Hector Ral is used for motive power and driver), Svenska Tågkompaniet (TKAB). Tågåkeriet i Bergslagen (TÅGAB) and Transdev. MTR started operation Stockholm - Göteborg March 21 March 2015, and operates the Stockholm SL communter trains. Trafikverket and SJ AB are government-owned; the others have private or foreign owners. Stockholmståg and SJ Norrlandståg are subsidiaries of SJ AB. Green Cargo and Railion now jointly own Railion Scandiavia (based in Denmark). Norwegian NSB is the owner of TKAB. More information under Other Railways below. Many local passenger services are operated on behalf of regional transport authorities. In many cases the operator is still SJ: for exceptions see below. Trafikverket owns former SJ lines, plus those of Trafikaktiebolaget Grängesberg Oxelösunds Järnvägar (TGOJ). TGOJ Trafik AB is now integrated into GC. Certain SJ passenger services are branded under other names, such as "Kust till Kust", and "TiM" (Trafik i Mälardalen).
Through services Stockholm – Oslo are operated by SJ, Oslo – Göteborg are operated by NSB in cooperation with TKAB.
The following are regional transport authorities responsible for the provision of local train services. They contract with SJ or another train operator to run the trains for them. Services crossing regional transport authority boundaries are usually jointly-sponsored. A few are joint operations with SJ long-distance services. In several cases a separate brand name, shown in brackets, is used to promote some or all services.
- Blekinge Länstrafik: Malmö – Karlskrona (operated by Transdev)
- AB Dalatrafik: Ludvika – Västerås(TiB, operated by SJ)
- Hallandstrafiken: Varberg – Borås (Västtrafik, operated by SJ), Halmstad – Nässjö (operated by Transdev)
- Jönköpings Länstrafik: Nässjö – Halmstad, Nässjö – Vetlanda, Nässjö – Eksjö , Alvesta – Sävsjö, Jönköping – Vaggeryd – Värnamo - Växjö (all branded as LÄNSTÅGEN or Krösatågen, operated by Transdev), Nässjö – Töreboda (Västtrafik, operated by SJ).
- Kalmar Läns Trafik AB: Linköping – Kalmar, Linköping – Västervik, Berga - Oskarshamn (all operated by Transdev)
- Länstrafiken i Jämtlands län (Z-trafik AB): (Trondheim-) Storlien – Östersund – Sundsvall (MittNaboLinjen, included in Norrtåg and operated by TKAB)
- Länstrafiken i Norrbottens län: Luleå - Kiruna, Luleå - Umeå (included in Norrtåg and operated by TKAB)
- Länstrafiken i Västerbottens län; Umeå - Lycksele, Umeå - Örnsköldsvik, Umeå - Luleå (included in Norrtåg and operated by TKAB
- Skånetrafiken: Öresundståg operated by Transdev. Denmark - Malmö – Landskrona – Helsingborg – Ängelholm (- Göteborg), Denmark - Malmö - Hässleholm - Karlskron, Denmark - Malmö - Alvesta - Växjö - Kalmar. Pågatåg operated by Arriva Malmö - Landskrona - Helsingborg - Ängelholm (stopping service), Malmö – Kristianstad (stopping service), Malmö – Teckomatorp – Helsingborg, Malmö – Ystad - Simrishamn, Helsingborg – Kristianstad.
- Storstockholms Lokaltrafik: Stockholm to Bålsta, Södertälje, Märsta, Uppsala C via Arlanda C, Gnesta and Nynäshamn (all operated by MTR), plus metro services (see below)
- Södermanlands Läns Trafik: Eskilstuna – Västerås (TiM)
- Upplands Lokaltrafik: (Upptåget),Uppsala – Tierp – Gävle (Operated by DSB Uppland), Uppsala – Sala – Västerås, Älvsjö/Tumba - Stockholm C - Arlanda C - Uppsala C (Operated by MTR)
- Värmlandstrafik: Karlstad – Torsby, Karlstad – Arvika – Charlottenberg(operated by TKAB)
- Västtrafik: Hallsberg – Herrljunga (- Göteborg) via Mariestad (Kinnekulletåget, operator Arriva), Töreboda – Nässjö), Skövde – Göteborg: Göteborg – Strömstad, Göteborg – Kungsbacka , Göteborg – Alingsås, Uddevalla - Borås - Varberg (All operated by SJ)
- Västernorrlands Läns Trafik: Sundsvall – Östersund (MittNaboLinjen, see Länstrafiken i Jämtlands län above),
- Västmanlands Lokaltrafik: Västerås – Sala – Uppsala , Västerås – Fagersta (TiB, operated by SJ), Västerås – Eskilstuna
- X-trafik AB: Gävle – Ljusdal, Gävle – Sundsvall (X-tåget, operated by TKAB)
- Östgötatrafiken: Norrköping – Mjölby – Tranås/Motala (operated by Arriva), Linköping – Hultsfred (- Kalmar/Oskarshamn) and Linköping – Västervik (operated by Transdev)
The following unprofitable services have been contracted out by Trafikverket Samhälle (previously Rikstrafiken -a government body) to operators other than SJ:
- Göteborg and Stockholm to Umeå, Luleå and Narvik: SJ Norrlandståg (a subsidiary of SJ)
Swedish. The Sami, who live in the extreme north, have their own language, which is related to Finnish.
numeric 74; alpha S
www.resrobot.se. Select Reseplanerare (Journey Planner) Select the British flag. You may see a question in the top left corner, where you are asked to provide your location. Chose between alltid(always), aldrig(never) or Inte nu(not now). www.sj.se can also be used but has less detail – e.g no ability to select streets, only locations to where you can purchase a ticket. Select ‘English’ (top right hand corner).
SJ and other operators Timetables are available at Resrobot Select 'Tågtidtabeller'. When the public timetable for the spring is publicly available, the advance (preliminary) edition for the summer and autumn may be available. When the advance edition for next year is available it is downloadable from this site as well. Just select the timetable period you are interested in. SJ fast trains are no longer labelled X2000 in the timetable, look for the word Snabbtåg instead. There is a link to an explanation in English on the top of the page.
The printed timetable is not published any more after 1 July 2012. Use online or downloadable timetables.
There is information on www.sj.se in English, but only for lines, where SJ is operator. For other lines you unfortunately have to search for information at the website of the relevant operator. Rail timetables normally include details of large engineering works which are planned in advance. For anyone with a particular interest in Engineering information, see the links under "Special Notes" below.
- European Railway Atlas: Scandinavia and Eastern Europe by M.G. Ball (1993) (ISBN 0-7110-2072-4)
- European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
- Maps are available from the Trafikverket website. Click on the name of the area you are interested in.
- Thorsten Büker's Map of Scandinavia, with enlargements of the Øresund area and Stockholm. Although these remain on-line, the Büker maps are no longer being maintained. Last update March/April 2018.
- Maps and Plans - Sweden
Railway infrastructure is owned and maintained by Trafikverket.
The Trafikverket website contains the Network Statement for each year.
Standard. SJ used to operate several 891mm and 1067mm and one 1093mm gauge lines, but these have all been closed or converted to standard gauge. There are tourist operations on a few ex-SJ narrow-gauge lines, but the only 891mm gauge line still with regular passenger services is the SL Roslagsbanan (with operator Arriva from January 2013).
15kV 16.7 Hz. The Öresund bridge is 25 kV 50Hz (DSB system). The SL Roslagsbanan is 1500V dc and the SL Saltsjöbanan is 900V dc.
Rule of the road
Left, but most lines in Sweden are single track. All lines with two or four tracks have CTC and full bi-directional signalling. In the Malmö area the Danish right-hand rule is used. The switch between left and right happens in a flying junction at Arlöv north of Malmö (about 1 km south of Burlöv station).
Also Södertälje hamn - Södertälje centrum use the right hand rule. All trains to and from Stockholm and Märsta reverse at Södertälje hamn, and to reduce conflicting movements, right hand rule is used. The exceptions may be trains to and from Järna/Gnesta and empty trains from the SL Södertälje EMU depot destined for Södertälje centrum.
Detailed information for each line is contained in the Linjeboken.
Apart from tourist lines and industrial concerns, the only significant private railway is the Inlandsbanan from Mora to Brunflo and Östersund to Gällivare.
Malmtrafik AB (and Norwegian company Malmtrafik AS) was jointly-owned by SJ, NSB and the mining company LKAB, but is now a fully owned subsidiary of LKAB. They operate iron ore trains over Trafikverket (in Sweden) and Jernbaneverket (in Norway) lines from Gällivare, Kiruna and Svappavaara to Narvik and Luleå. Among other companies operating freight (and, in some cases, passenger) trains over Trafikverket lines are: CFL Cargo, Cargo Net, Hector Rail, Inlandsgods, Tågfrakt AB, Tågåkeriet i Bergslagen and Vida Timber . Some operations are on behalf of Green Cargo and others at the private companies' own risk or for their own needs. See the member listof the association for Swedish train operators (P=passenger, G=freight). An organisation can be a member without actually operating trains, but hardly the opposite.
Due to weather and daylight hours, most tourist lines have a very short operating season, typically from mid-June to mid-August.
A free guide to preserved railways in Sweden, "Tågsommar", is published each spring by JärnvägsInfo-Förlaget, Box 1134, S-171 22 Solna. Telephone +46 8 82 27 35, web site www.teknikarv.se/ts, which leads to the current edition. This now includes an appendix giving both the GPS coordinates and latitude and longitude of each line. Click on "pdf-fil" for a PDF file of the brochure, or on "html-fil" for a simple HTML listing (without illustrations). Links to all tourist lines and many other small museums, societies etc. are available here.
There is a listing of Nordic narrow gauge tourist lines on the Scandinavian Railways Society website.
Stockholm. In addition to the Tunnelbana, Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) operates two local lines, the Roslagsbana (891mm gauge), and the Saltsjöbana.
Göteborg, Malmö (Malmö Stads Spårvägar Museiförening, summer weekend museum trams only www.sparvagssallskapet.se), Norrköping, Stockholm: Nockebybanan: Alvik – Nockeby, Lidingöbanan: Ropsten-Gåshaga, Tvärbanan: Sickla – Gullmarsplan – Liljeholmen – Alvik – Solna station (all operated by Arriva). Kungsträdgården – Waldemarsudde is a normal public SL traffic using modern trams. Norrmalmstorg – Waldemarsudde is in operation using museum trams; both modern and museum trams are operated by AB Stockholms Spårvägar, the PLC owned by the Swedish Tramway Society). Museispårvägen Malmköping is a tramway museum near Eskilstuna with a 2.6km operating line (also www.sparvagssallskapet.se).
Track plans for the Goteborg and Norrköping tram systems are available on the Gleisplanweb site.
Recent and future changes
Several cut offs, addition of a second track and new lines have opened in recent years to enable faster train services.
- Eksjö - Hultsfred lost its passenger service from the timetable change 14 December 2014. It was opened in 1874 and has never been without passenger service since. The reason is said to be insufficient loadings.
- Ängelholm - Båstad N via Grevie closed 5 November 2015, replaced by the Hallandsås tunnel.
- Passenger services Teckomatorp - Kävlinge (used by table 109 services Helsingborg - Malmö) ceased 10 December 2016, and are now routed via Eslöv.
- The Danish trains Copenhagen - Ystad ceased to operate with the new timetable in December 2017. This leaves Lernacken - Svågertorp without any regular passenger service.
- There will be temporary closures for bridge refurbishment between Stockholm Central and Stockholm Södra(South) between midsummer and mid-August in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Also 2021 if needed. 2019 dates are between 24 June and 18 August. Most fast trains (X2000 and MTR) will depart from Stockholm Södra station, while regional and some loco-hauled will use Flemingsberg. This is long overdue, but could not start until the Citybana opened in July 2017. Stabling sidings have been built between Älvsjö yard and the main line. Empty passenger and postal trains will be permitted to use the Citybana to reach Hagalund depot. To travel between Stockholm Central, Stockholm Södra and Flemingsberg you of course use the SL commuter trains.
- Berga - Oskarshamn will once again lose the passenger service. Last train is planned to operate 15 June in the morning. This section has for a long time been the first to be bustituted in case of KLT DMU shortage.
Openings and reopenings
- Local (Pågatåg) passenger service Hyllie - Svågertorp - Trelleborg C opened 13 December 2015.
- The Hallandsås tunnel opened 13 December 2015.
- The heritage line on the island of Gotland, Dalhem - Roma kungsgård, was extendend to a new station in Roma 14 May 2015.
- The SL Lidingöbana reopened 24 October 2015
- Passenger services Teckomatorp - Eslöv (used by table 109 services Helsingborg - Malmö) reopened 11 December 2016.
- Citybanan, the link under Stockholm, opened 10 July 2017 at 05.00 in the morning.
- The SL Tvärbana tramway was extended 2 October 2017 from Sickla udde to Sickla, to form an interchange point with the SL Saltsjöbana.
- The Malmö circle opened 9 December 2018. Trains, which previously terminated at Hyllie are extended to the terminal section of Malmö C via Persborg.
- Kilafors - Söderhamn reopened 9 December 2018. This section lost its passenger service in 1971. A new West to North chord avoiding Söderhamn (new/west) station was brought into use as well. The only passenger services are the night trains between Göteborg and Sundsvall, which has direct sleepers Göteborg - Luleå and Göteborg - Östersund - Duved, There are no opened stations nor any local services.
- The contract for SL tramway 7 has been renewed with the current operator, AB Stockholms Spårvägar (owned by the Swedish Tramway Society, Stockholm branch), which gave the best bid. This company has also won the contract for SL Lidingöbanan (line 21) from the restart of the operation 24 October 2015.
- The entire Norrtåg operation was transferred from Botniatåg (SJ/Arriva) to TKAB on an 9 year contract starting 5 september 2016.
- TiB was transferred from TKAB to SJ on 11 December 2016
- All SL Pendeltåg (commuter trains) were transferred from Stockholmståg (SJ) to MTR on 11 December 2016 on a 10 year contract with possibilities for extension.
- Krösatågen (the lingonberry trains) were transferred from Transdev to Tågkompaniet (now Vy) in December 2018.
- The Oresund trains will be transferred from Transdev to SJ in December 2019.
- Work is in progress to double several single track sections:
- The Hallandsås tunnel is complete. Full traffic started December 2015.
- The double-tracking of Hallsberg - Mjölby is now in its final section Hallsberg - Degerön] This will be done in three stages.
- In Stockholm, the Tvärbanan tramway is extended from Alvik to Solna station via Sundbyberg station, including a new depot in Ulvsunda. The last section,Solna centrum - Solna station opened August 2014. The museum tramway between Norrmalmstorg and Djurgården (Waldemarsudde), has been extended and converted into a normal tramway between Norrmalmstorg and Sergels Torg. Full timetabled traffic started on 23 August 2010. It has been extended to the Central station, but further extension to the west has been shelved. There is also a plan to build a tramway from Strandvägen via the Frihamnen area to Ropsten, where a connection with the Ropsten – Gåshaga tramway is planned. The latter has been postponed again.
- A new 1524 mm gauge line was planned jointly by a Canadian mining company and Trafikverket to link new iron ore mines at Kaunisvaara in Sweden (about 20 km WNW of Kolari) with the VR line to Kolari. The company changed its plans and used while operating road transport to Pitkäjärvi near Svappavaara, and the existing line to Narvik instead. The mining has resumed by another company using Narvik and combined road/rail transport.
- The building of the tunnel from Stockholm Södra to Tomteboda is the largest of all projects. It also includes two new sub-surface stations in central Stockholm and a new flyover along the entire Älvsjö yard. It opened 10 July 2017.
- On 1 April 2010 the Swedish National Rail Administration, Banverket (BV) and its counterpart for roads Vägverket (VV) were united to form the Swedish National Transport Administration (TRV - not TV as has been stated elsewhere). Banverket Produktion has been made a separate company named InfraNord.
Sweden pioneered the split in railway management between infrastructure ownership and train operation. Trafikverket is subsidised by the government so that it can provide train paths at a cost comparable with access to the road system.
Seat reservations are compulsory on Snabbtåg (X2000 and SJ3000) and overnight trains, and recommended on other long distance services. Tickets for long distance journeys are issued for specific trains, but will usually be accepted on others, subject to seats being available. Reservations are not indicated on seats so finding a seat that will not be claimed en route is something of a lottery – better to obtain a seat reservation at an open booking office. If someone else has the reservation to the seat you are using, they might request you to move. All fares are influenced by demand and may vary considerably. Sometimes first class can even be cheaper than second class. A few non-Snabbtåg services are for practical reasons operated using Snabbtåg rolling stock.
On some lines, particularly around Malmö and Helsingborg, tickets for local and main line trains are not inter-available, but there are exceptions in respect of particular trains and destinations.
Swedish passenger carriages are larger than UIC standard vehicles and, apart from workings into Norway, are permitted to carry passengers outside Sweden only to and from Berlin using the Trelleborg – Sassnitz train ferry. Passenger-carrying access to København was only available by train ferry as there are no Swedish carriages – apart from the joint Öresund fleet – which are allowed to have passengers on board when using the Öresund bridge/ tunnel. Rebuilt SJ X2000 (Snabbtåg)-sets operate Stockholm – København and Göteborg – København.
For different kinds of useful information from Trafikverket see: Trafikverket. This dictionary may be useful. Select the text ‘Tågplan’ + the timetable (year) you are interested in to the right (Fastställd means set, förslag means suggested).
Train number list (Tågnummerförteckning) can be seen both to the left and to the right - under documents (dokument). Planned infrastructure work (Trafikverkets behov av banarbeten). This shows in detail the infrastructure work which is planned during the validity of this timetable.
At the beginning of summer, it may be possible to see the plans for the next year – as they are. This link may disappear, and should be seen as just a snapshot of the planning process. The plans are very likely to be modified a lot. Start again from Trafikverket. Select the next timetable year ('Tågplan' followed by the year) if available. If ‘Förslag till Tågplan’ appears in the drop-down list for the year, this indicates that a draft graphical timetable, which could change, is available. If the text ‘Samrådsmöte’ appears in the drop-down list, only a preliminary draft of the graphical timetable is available.
The daily graphical timetables are from 1 February 2018 no longer available to the general public. It has been said that this information has been veru useful for thieves stealing copper cables.
The very detailed 'Linjeboken -The Line Book' is available online. It contains all signals, tracks, speed restrictions, level crossings etc. There is one folder for all lines belonging to each signalling centre. This does not mean that all lines are remotely controlled. Select the area you are interested in on the left hand side
On many local lines trains call at stations by request. Bus-style push buttons are provided in many diesel railcars, to request the train to stop. Passengers wishing to join a train at an unstaffed, request halt need to operate a hand-worked disc signal on the station platform.
Accented vowels come at the end of the Swedish alphabet, with Å, Ä and Ö following Z in that order. Accordingly, Öxnered comes last in the index of Swedish railway stations and Nässjö is further down the list than Nynäshamn.
There is a bulletin board, Postvagnen, for questions also in English, at www.sjk.se. It can also be accessed using www.postvagnen.com. You must, however, register to be able to post messages. Most native Swedes speak at least some English.
Trafikverket has an online service where you can see if the train you are interested in is on time. It is only in Swedish but should be easy to understand. Select either a station or the train number you are interested in and click OK. "Beräknas" means "expected at". All passenger trains on Trafikverket tracks except SL commuter trains and Arlanda Express are included. This is now the same page as where messages on infrastructure work can be fourd (see Engineering Information above). Note: Do not select English here, you will only find a map and road related information.
There was a service Tågkartan, a living map showing all passenger and freight trains their possible delays. . This map was removed from the Internet early 2019.
In Stockholm, the displays shown at the commuter train, Underground (Metro), local railways/tramway and bus halts can be seen at SL Website in English. Just select Next Departure and type your halt/station.
The website www.tydal.nu contains graphic information on how a certain train number is routed including timings for all intermediate locations and some other useful information, however in Swedish only. Select 'Tåg' (=Trains), select 'Sök tågs tidtabell' (Find the timetable of a train), enter the train number and Select 'Sök' (=Search) . This site is not official, it is provided by Thomas Tydal, a former driving instructor at SJ, who has his own software company.
There are now webpages similar to Real Time Trains or Open Train Times also for Sweden, with data provided by Trafikverket. These sites complement each other.
avgång.nu, which means departure now. For all without Swedish keyboards, use infoboard.link . This site focuses on passenger services and the possibility to see track usage in stations. You have many possibilities to filter, and can also see all public transport in the areas listed. You can also see freight trains if you know the train number. For this - select Tåg (trains), scroll down as much as possible. Fill in the train #. Be aware if you try to browse a night train or a long distance freight, Tågets avgångsdatum (departure date) may have to be the day before. You must also tick the box on the row starting "Visa rapporterade" to see any non-passenger service. Train # and planned running dates can be found in the daily graphical timetables. This site shows all site names in full text with the most recent information at the bottom.
jvgfoto.se also provides a lot of good pictures. All sites are identified with the location code only. All trains are shown, including freight and departemental. the most recent events are displayed at the top. The maps from Trafikverket (see above) contain both location codes and full names and may be useful here. The traffic information has 4 options. 1. Traffic Radar for locations: Shows reported events for trains at locations within and area limited by the distance you enter (in km) from the location code you have entered. It is used to get an overview of all movements in the area. 2. The same, but centered around a moving train. 3. Traffic information for a section of line. You can include up to 6 different sections, which you select from a drop-down list. Very useful. 4. Traffic information for a certain train, with arrival and departure times and if the train is ahead or behind the planned path. Beware of the difference between public train # (shown in public timetables and used for booking) and technical train %,which may change during the journey. 5. Traffic info for a location. Is used to see what has happened at a particular site from now and backwards. New is traffic radar around a selected train. It is now possible to tick Visa fullständiga trafikplatsnamn (show the names of the locations in full - instead of just the abbrevations. When Trafikverket ceased to provide the graphical timetables to the general public, these immediately disappeared from this site as well.
tydal.nu/tl is a less comprehensive application than the other two. But it is very handy when you are travelling and using a smartphone. Enter the location code for a station where the train is planned to stop. You can easily see the location codes where the passenger trains approaching the station are, and if these trains are on time or delayed.
1409.se is a new information page also provided bt Tomas Tydal using data from Trafikverket. Most of the text can be translated into English and six other languages. Look at any passenger station, or see the train status per operator. It is temporarily closed due to legal problems.