Sweden - General Information
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.
Other Major Operators
The other major passenger operators are Arlanda Express, Vy Tåg AB - previous name Svenska Tågkompaniet (TKAB). Tågåkeriet i Bergslagen (TÅGAB), Transdev and VR Sverige (Finnish VR has acquired Arriva Sweden). MTR operates Stockholm - Göteborg in competition with SJ. MTR also operates the Stockholm SL commuter trains and Mälartåg. Hector Rail operates Flixtrain, initially Stockholm - Göteborg only. Trafikverket and SJ AB are government-owned; the others have private or foreign owners. Green Cargo and DB have dismantled the cooperative venture Railion Scandiavia (based in Denmark). 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.
Through services Stockholm – Oslo are operated by SJ, Oslo – Göteborg are operated by Vy (NSB).
Regional Transport Authorities
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), Kalmar - Emmaboda - Karlskrona (Operated by SJ Krösa). Kristianstad - Karlshamn (Pågatåg, operated by VR Sverige).
- AB Dalatrafik: Ludvika – Västerås(TiB, operated by SJ - VR Sverige from Dec 2023)
- Hallandstrafiken: Varberg – Borås (Västtrafik, operated by SJ), Halmstad – Nässjö (operated by SJ Krösa)
- Jönköpings Länstrafik: Nässjö – Halmstad, Nässjö – Vetlanda, Nässjö – Eksjö , Nässjö – Alvesta – Växjö, Jönköping – Vaggeryd – Värnamo and Värnamo - Alvesta - Växjö (all branded as Krösatågen, operated by SJ Krösa), Nässjö – Töreboda (Västtrafik, operated by SJ).
- Kalmar Läns Trafik AB: Linköping – Kalmar, Linköping – Västervik, Kalmar - Emmaboda - Karlskrona (branded as Krösatågen, operated by SJ Krösa).
- Länstrafiken i Jämtlands län (Z-trafik AB): Storlien – Östersund – Sundsvall (Norrtåg, operated by Vy Tåg AB)
- Länstrafiken i Norrbottens län: Luleå - Kiruna, Luleå - Umeå, Boden - Haparanda(Norrtåg ,operated by Vy Tåg AB)
- Länstrafiken i Västerbottens län; Umeå - Lycksele, Umeå - Örnsköldsvik, Umeå - Luleå (Norrtåg, operated by Vy Tåg AB)
- Skånetrafiken: Denmark - Malmö – Landskrona – Helsingborg – Ängelholm (- Göteborg), Denmark - Malmö - Hässleholm - Karlskrona, Denmark - Malmö - Alvesta - Växjö - Kalmar (all Öresundståg (operated by Transdev). Malmö - Landskrona - Helsingborg - Halmstad (stopping service), Malmö – Kristianstad (stopping service), Malmö – Teckomatorp – Helsingborg, Malmö - Lomma - Billesholm - Åstorp, Malmö – Ystad - Simrishamn, Malmö - Trelleborg, Helsingborg – Hässleholm , Kristianstad - Karlshamn (all Pågatåg, operated by VR Sverige).
- Storstockholms Lokaltrafik: Stockholm to Bålsta, Södertälje, Märsta, Uppsala C via Arlanda C, Gnesta and Nynäshamn (all operated by MTR), plus metro services (see below).Stockholm - Eskilstuna - Örebro, Stockholm - Katrineholm - Hallsberg, Stockholm – Nyköping – Norrköping, Uppsala – Sala – Västerås - Eskilstuna – Norrköping -Linköping (all Mälartåg, operated by MTR).
- Södermanlands Läns Trafik: Stockholm - Eskilstuna - Örebro, Stockholm - Katrineholm - Hallsberg, Stockholm - Nyköping - Norrköping, Uppsala - Sala – Västerås - Eskilstuna - Linköping (all Mälartåg, operated by MTR).
- Upplands Lokaltrafik: (Upptåget, now integrated into Mälartåg),Uppsala – Tierp – Gävle and Uppsala - Sala - Västerås - Eskilstuna - Linköping (Operated by MTR), Södertälje Centrum - Stockholm City - Arlanda C - Uppsala C (All operated by MTR).
- Värmlandstrafik: Karlstad – Torsby, Kristinehamn – Arvika – Charlottenberg (-Norway) (operated by Vy Tåg AB)
- Västtrafik: Hallsberg – Herrljunga (- Göteborg) via Mariestad (Kinnekulletåget), Töreboda – Nässjö, Skövde – Göteborg, Göteborg – Uddevalla – Strömstad, Göteborg – Kungsbacka , Göteborg – Alingsås, Uddevalla - Borås - Varberg (All Västtåg, operated by SJ)
- Västernorrlands Läns Trafik: Sundsvall – Östersund - Storlien, Sundsvall - Umeå (Norrtåg, Operated by Vy Tåg AB).
- Västmanlands Lokaltrafik: Eskilstuna - Västerås – Sala – Uppsala , Västerås – Fagersta (TiB, operated by SJ - VR Sverige from Dec 2023), Uppsala - Sala - Västerås – Eskilstuna - Linköping (Mälartåg, operated by MTR).
- X-trafik AB: Gävle – Ljusdal, Gävle – Sundsvall (X-tåget, operated by Vy Tåg AB), Gävle - Borlänge, Gävle - Avesta Krylbo(TiB, operated by SJ - VR Sverige from Dec 2023).
- Östgötatrafiken: Norrköping – Mjölby – Tranås/Motala (operated by VR Sverige), Linköping – Hultsfred - Kalmar and Linköping – Västervik (operated by SJ Krösa), Uppsala - Sala - Västerås – Eskilstuna – Norrköping – Linköping and Stockholm C - Nyköping - Norrköping (both Mälartåg, operated by MTR).
The following unprofitable services have been contracted out by Trafikverket Samhälle (previously Rikstrafiken -a government body) to operators other than SJ:
- Stockholm to Umeå, Luleå and Narvik: Vy Tåg AB.
Swedish. The Sami, who live in the extreme north, have their own language, which is related to Finnish.
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.
numeric 74; alpha S
Because of a shortage of timetable planners at Trafikverket and the introduction of a new system called MPK, there are considerable delays in scheduling train paths. The published PDF timetables will therefore normally not be updated with further information for the 2023 (T23) timetable. Trafikverket will not issue the complete timetable all at once, but will update it continually during the year.
The non-electrified DMU-operated lines have a higher percentage of replacement bus operation than electrified lines. The worst line is Linköping – Västervik, where (in 2022) in average the full train service ran on only one day in three. Check your train at Trafikverket before departure to ensure it is a train and not a bus.
RESROBOT. Select Reseplanerare (Journey Planner) Select the British flag (top right hand corner). A question in the top left corner may be visible, where the user is asked to provide his or her location. Chose between alltid(always), aldrig(never) or Inte nu(not now). SJ can also be used but has less detail – e.g no ability to select streets, only locations to where you can purchase a ticket. SJ does not show Flixtrain and MTRX.
Actual Train Times
Trafikverket has an online service where the punctuality of a train can be checked. Click on the train symbol (top left). The text is only in Swedish but should be easy to understand. Select either a station or the train number and click OK. "Beräknas" means "expected at". All passenger trains on Trafikverket tracks except Arlanda Express are included. Do not select the 'English' option, as this will show only a map and road related information.
In Stockholm, the displays shown at the commuter train, Underground (Metro), local railways/tramway and bus stops can be seen at the SL Website in English. Just select Next Departure and type your halt/station.
There are Swedish webpages similar to Real Time Trains or Open Train Times, which use data provided by Trafikverket. These sites complement each other. Starting 2023 there are 2 or 3 different identities for a train: Train-ID, advertised # (passenger only) and operational #. The latter is allocated by Trafikverket at midnight 24 hours before the 24-hour period when the train is to run. SJ and other passenger operators normally use the advertised # as the "core" in Train-ID. Starting November 2023, only passenger trains are shown !
avgång.nu (departure now). For those without Swedish keyboards, use this link. This site focuses on passenger services and provides platform/track usage in stations. There are many ways to filter the information, and also to see all public transport in the areas listed. Remember that for a night train, the Tågets avgångsdatum (departure date) may be the previous day. To find train # use jvgfoto.se or 1409.se. This site shows all site names in full text with the most recent information at the bottom. However, all users must now accept cookies from the advertisement networks, which means that this site is unusable for anyone disagreeing to accept.
jvgfoto.se also provides a lot of good pictures. All sites are identified by only the location code, unless the box requesting full names is ticked. The maps from Trafikverket (see above) contain both location codes and full names, and may be useful here. The traffic information has 6 options.
- 1. Traffic information for a section of line, shown as a graphical timetable which shows just the last hour. This is very useful, but only the location codes are displayed.
- 2. Traffic information for a section of line. Up to 6 different sections can be selected from a drop-down list.
- 3. Traffic information for a location. This is used to see what has occurred at a particular site up to the current time. Type in the location code. The most recent events are displayed at the top.
- 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 the public train no. (shown in public timetables and used for booking tickets) and working train no., which may change during the journey. The most recent events are displayed at the top.
- 5. Traffic Radar for locations: enter a the location code and a distance in km. This shows reported events for trains at locations within the radius entered. It provides an overview of all movements in the area.
- 6. The same, but centred around a moving train.
It is possible to tick Visa fullständiga trafikplatsnamn (show the names of the locations in full) - instead of just the abbreviations. The update frequency (refresh rate) can also be chosen:- ingen (none) or anything between 1 and 15 minutes. When Trafikverket ceased to provide the daily graphical timetables to the general public, these immediately disappeared from this site as well. The cumulative graphical timetable is still provided but, once published, is not updated. The graphical timetable also contains both full names and location codes. From 2023 the graphical timetable has become virtually useless as it shows the requests rather than the allocated paths.
tl.tydal.nu is a less comprehensive application than the others. But it is very handy for travellers 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. To decode the location codes use Trafikverket maps (see Web-based maps)
1409.se is an information page also provided by Tomas Tydal's company using data from Trafikverket. It is available as a website and as an app (both iPhone and Android). Most of the text can be translated into English (select the British flag) and six other languages. Look at any passenger station, or see the train status by operator. This site has a live map updated every minute. Click on the train no. to see its operator and destination.
If this site is used without logging in, additional information will only be visible on passenger trains. Some "Special" (=Departmental) for passenger train operators may also be seen. The history for most passenger trains, starting in summer 2018, can also be seen. The colour of the train number indicates if the train is early (blue), on time (green) or late (yellow or red). Clicking on the number displays the cause of the delay.
After registering (free of charge) and getting a login code, it is possible to log in, but now, with freight no longer available it is unclear where the advantage is.
Subscribing to the site (39 SEK/month) gives the benefit of avoiding advertisements. There are plans to expand the site, and there might be new functions available only to subscribers. The subscription fee may increase for new subscribers when more functions have been added.
Those registering who use an email address from a Swedish company within the Railway sector, gain access to information not available to others.
SJ and other operators' Timetables for 2023 are available at Resrobot Select 'Tågtidtabeller' . From the new timetable in December 2023, the downloadable timetables will cease to exist.
WARNING: In the header there is a text in Swedish, which translates into: The timetables are not complete and just to be seen as a base for planning. For correct information use the Journey Planner. This means that the PDF's are now normally not updated with changes such as infrastructure work during the year.
The printed timetable has not been published since 1 July 2012. Use online or downloadable timetables (but be aware that the latter may be outdated).
There is information on the SJ site in English, but only for lines, where SJ is the operator. It may contain outdated information. Users of the Snälltåget services are suggested to use Snälltåget site in English. Scroll down to Planned Service changes. Information on work affecting Snälltåget in Denmark and Germany is normally also included here.
There is a site where you can see trackwork and incidents provided by Joakim Ewenson, an IT-professional, who also has worked as a train driver. It shows current events on the Trafikverket network.
You can tick a box in the top left hand corner to indicate if you want to see planned trackwork, otherwise you will only see other events. Items are sorted on time of addition or update, newest on top. Events for a particular month are normally added during the preceding month. Data from Trafikverket, and only in Swedish, but should be easy to understand anyway.
The same Journey Planner is used for train and bus RESROBOT. Select Reseplanerare (Journey Planner) Select the British flag. The user may see a question in the top left corner, asking for his or her location. Chose between alltid(always), aldrig(never) or Inte nu(not now).
- European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball.
- European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - Nordic) by M.G. Ball.
- Maps are available from the Trafikverket website. Click on the name of the area you are interested in. Please see the warning under Infrastructure Authority below.
- 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.
- Open Railway map. Zoom into Sweden and this shows detailed track layouts
- Maps and Plans - Sweden
There are no longer any staffed ticket offices in Sweden. Indeed, SJ ticket machines are being removed from all stations starting September 2023. This makes it much more difficult to buy a ticket at a station. See below for other options. Internet access is strongly recommended. Anyone not already familiar with the Internet access in Sweden, please also read “Internet access in the Swedish railway environment”, under Special Notes below.
The best way to travel is to use Interrail and download the Interrail (Rail Planner) app. Prior to 2023 it had only a few errors. However, in 2023 trains may be opened for ticket purchase maybe only a month or less before the train is due to run. There is therefore a risk that the Interrail app updates may lag behind. This app shows which trains the Interrail ticket is valid on, as well as listing the participating operators. It also enables one to buy seat reservation supplements, which are often required. These can also be purchased on the SJ website, but not via the SJ app. Warning: If travelling on the last train of the day from A via B to C, changing trains at B. If the train from A to B is delayed and the connection from B to C is not held, there is nowhere to get help. Prospective travellers should arm themselves with the contact details of local hotels in B.
Commercial rail operators
SJ is the oldest and largest passenger train operator. The easiest way for a foreign tourist to purchase SJ tickets in Sweden is to use the SJ app, or the SJ site . The website has an “adaptive” design and works for smartphones as well. The app is also available in English (see language settings). The only disadvantage with the app is that it cannot be used to purchase Interrail reservations. These can be made using the Interrail app or via the SJ site. Instructions are given here.
SJ sells tickets for all public transport in Sweden (both commercial and non-commercial operators listed below), except Flixtrain and MTRX. It also covers Oslo and Copenhagen. It also sells add-on tickets for local trains and buses with the SJ ticket (see the section on Resplus ticket below). Vy SE, Norrtåg, Snälltåget, TÅGAB and Öresundståg can also be purchased from SJ, even though these companies (except TÅGAB) also have their own sales web sites.
Foreign credit cards (Visa or Mastercard) can be used on both the SJ app and the website. When using cards issued in Sweden, an electronic ID may be needed. This is a subject where the bank in question decides. When purchasing from the website, it is better to choose a PDF ticket rather a SMS (text message) ticket.
SJ tickets (except for overnight trains) can be purchased in both Pressbyrån and selected 7-Eleven stores, but a service fee of 100 SEK will be charged for each order. This is obviously an expensive option for short journeys or a small number of people. Remember that these are shops: their skill in selling tickets may vary considerably and there may be little interest in selling a complicated ticket when several ‘normal’ customers are waiting to be served.
Ticket offices operated by the PTA:s may also sell SJ tickets, but these offices are few and some have office hours only. Check the website of the PTA in question, but some PTA websites are in Swedish only. Links to these can be found under the heading Samtrafiken, under Non-commercial operators, below.
SJ ticket vending machines are being removed from all locations starting September 2023.
For SJ customer service, see Welcome to SJ Customer service!
For telephone enquiries call +46771757575 and wait for the message “for information in English please press 9”. Normally a 100 SEK service fee is charged when using this service to buy a ticket, but it is likely to be waived if it is obvious that the customer has no access to or doesn’t understand the web or the app. As this service is outsourced, the level of knowledge amongst the agents varies.
Purchase of tickets in advance is mandatory for all SJ trains. It is not possible to purchase tickets on board. The one exception is Tåg i Bergslagen (TiB), but TiB will be transferred from SJ to VR Sverige in December 2023.
Tickets may not be checked on board SJ trains with mandatory seat reservation because the guard has a seat map on their smartphone. However, the ticket of anyone in a seat which should be free according to the seat map, will be checked. The SJ sales channels are the dominant ones and have the most comprehensive pages in English. Some of the other long-distance operators have their own websites and there are also a few independent sites for domestic tickets, such as resrobot. Where a ticket permits rebooking or a refund, this applies only to the SJ section of a multiple operator journey. The sections covered by other operators are normally non-refundable.
- Flixtrain All tickets include a seat reservation.
- Inlandståget (Inlandsbanan) is owned by the municipalities along the line (Mora – Östersund – Gällivare).
- MTRX. All tickets include a seat reservation.
- SJ Norway (Nord) operates the cross-border Storlien – Trondheim line. Tickets can be bought on the SJ SE channels.
- Snälltåget. All tickets include a seat reservation. Tickets can also be purchased via SJ or the SJ app.
- TÅGAB Their website has no provision for ticket sales. Tickets can be purchased via SJ or the SJ app.
- Vy SE is a subsidiary of Vy NO (previously NSB). It has an agreement with MTRX to sell MTRX tickets.
Norrtåg and Värmland are mentioned on the Vy SE homepage because Vy SE operates the trains on behalf of the county councils (PTA) in these areas. Vy SE has a contract with Trafikverket to operate the Stockholm – Luleå and Stockholm – Narvik overnight trains, and sets the prices for these. Tickets on these trains include a seat or bed reservation.
Tickets for Vy Göteborg – Oslo cross-border services are sold also by SJ. However, Vy’s Norwegian site must be used if a seat reservation or an advance ticket for Göteborg – Oslo is required. A few of the Karlstad – Charlottenberg trains (operated by Vy SE) are extended into Norway.
Non-commercial operators / Public Transport Authorities (PTA)
For travel within one region/county council area, tickets are sold locally via ticket machines or by on-train staff. A few larger towns have staffed ticket offices, but these are often open only in office hours. If there is time, it may find be possible to find an agency (most likely a shop) which sells local tickets. Look for shops with the logo of the local PTA. A credit card will probably be required. Krösatåg, Mälartåg, Norrtåg, TiB (Tåg i Bergslagen) and Öresundståg are owned jointly by the county councils in the relevant area. The trains may be run by SJ or another operator. In addition to local travelcards TiB uses only tickets of the incumbent operator, SJ. This will change when TiB is transferred to VR Sverige in December 2023.
Öresundståg: Tickets can be purchased from vending machines at the stations or offices of ÖRESUNDSTÅG. Click on the + sign after Points of sale.
Travellers on the Uppsala - Sala and Uppsala - Gävle lines can also use UL yellow vending machines. See UL.
Foreign travellers without Mälartåg or SJ app from any station served only by Mälartåg are recommended to purchase a ticket from this location before going there. But be aware - single tickets are for a specific train, which means that time of departure cannot be changed. Use the SJ app or the Mälartåg app, electronic ID is only mandatory if the bank has decided this.
Using the two largest cities as examples:
For the Stockholm County, see SL In English. A single journey with a 75-minute ticket (last leg started within this time) can be bought just by holding a Amex, MasterCard or VISA contactless credit card in front of the glass of the green validator. There is also a SL app which can be downloaded and offers more alternatives. It can be set to English.
For Göteborg and the surrounding Västra Götaland area see Västtrafik. There is also a Västtrafik app (which really is named: to go). It can be downloaded.
Samtrafiken, a company owned by all the regional public transport authorities and many commercial operators, lists its owners (ägare) on its webpage Samtrafiken. Click on the relevant icon to link to the individual companies’ website. Some have pages in English; use Google Translate for those only in Swedish. The last icon on the page (Länstrafiken) is the Örebro county. Some of the listed companies may have their “own” trains, such as SL, Västtrafik, Värmlandståg and X-trafik, while others may have only bus operations. They may also be just a part-owner of a joint venture. See the top of this section.
Beware that ticket validities can differ, depending on the type of operator and the channel used to purchase them. Tickets with a limited validity – like the British ‘advance tickets’ - are valid only on the date and train number shown on the ticket. However, in Sweden the entire train may be sold on this basis. Commercial operators always favour advance tickets with a seat reservation included (with some exceptions listed below). Tickets, which can be rebooked or refunded are available, but of course at a higher price. Note that reservations are not shown on the seats.
Commercial operator Exceptions
- SJ – Seat reservation is included free of charge for all SJ trains, except those operated for Tåg i Bergslagen (TiB) and for shorter distances with some regional trains. Regional trains may have a small number of unreserved seats, mainly for commuters using a travelcard (or Interrail!) and for passengers travelling a short distance. All trains are like Advance tickets independent of whether seat reservation is compulsory or not.
A seat reservation is included in the tickets for all trains, except on these routes: Stockholm – Uppsala, Stockholm – Köping, Örebro – Hallsberg, Skövde – Göteborg, Växjö – Alvesta and Tåg i Bergslagen (TiB). A seat reservation is automatically included when the ticket is purchased if it is required.
- Snälltåget – Tickets that are purchased on the Snälltåget site can be changed (rebooked) and made refundable for a fee. However, those purchased via SJ channels cannot be changed.
Joint ventures non-commercial operators / Public Transport Authorities
- Krösatåg – No own ticket system. The systems of the owning county councils /PTA are used. See links last under non-commercial operators. Here it is normally possible to purchase the (local) ticket from the guard, but card payment only and tickets can only be sold if there is a mobile network signal.
- Mälartåg (Mälardalstrafik) – No seat reservations. Single tickets are like Advance tickets - for a specific train. (A large proportion of the passengers use travelcards). Se also Mälartåg notes (above).
- Norrtåg - Single tickets are like Advance tickets. Seat reservation is optional but bear in mind that this system covers the entire northern half of Sweden! Tickets are available from Norrtåg or the Vy SE app.
- Öresundståg. – Seat reservation is possible when purchasing via the SJ channels or via Öresundståg. These tickets are like Advance tickets. However, tickets purchased via the local PTA are not tied to a specific train.
- Other non-commercial operators (county councils)/PTA - No seat reservation. Tickets are not tied to a specific train. Resplus tickets purchased via the SJ channels are valid on any train on the day of travel (see below). There is one exception: When purchasing a Resplus ticket (see below) for travel to or from any station on the Linköping – Kalmar and Linköping – Västervik lines, the traveller gets a seat reservation, and can claim a numbered seat. But other passengers travelling on local tickets do not need seat reservations.
A Resplus (Travel plus) ticket is normally issued for a journey which involves multiple operators, including bus and ferry companies. SJ channels always issue a Resplus ticket when these conditions are met, for example a journey involving both SJ and a non-commercial entity such as Krösatågen or Västtrafik. A Resplus ticket is normally slightly more expensive than buying directly from the non-commercial operator, as the sales channel (SJ or other) adds a booking fee on top of the operator’s ticket price. However, it provides a considerable advantage if a change of trains is involved, and the onward connection is missed. (Compare this with the situation described in the last part of the Interrail section above). If a passenger holds a Resplus ticket, the operator responsible for missing the connection is required to provide their onward transport. During the day, this is normally the next train or bus. However, if the last connection has already departed, the operator responsible must provide a bus or a taxi. If this is not feasible (for instance an overnight train) they must provide a hotel and tickets for the following day free of charge.
Railway infrastructure is owned and maintained by Trafikverket.
For a while Trafikverket (during the rebuild) will have two websites. This means that you may not find what you are looking for where it used to be.
On trafikverket.se you will find content for the general public, like traffic information and information on Trafikverket projects. On bransch.trafikverket.se you will find content aimed at those who have a professional interest.
A warning - please do not select Languages/English on the frontpage of bransch.trafikverket.se . You will be directed to a simplified page without a possibility to access the suggested page. Use the links provided by EGTRE, these will bring you directly to a suitable page.
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 Roslagsbana (operator Transdev since 13 April 2022).
15kV 16.7 Hz. The Öresund bridge is 25 kV 50Hz (DSB system). The SL Roslagsbana is 1500V dc and the SL Saltsjöbana 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 beyond 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 Linjebok.
For EGTRE readers it may be easier to use tydal.nu.Here you can find the distances for Sweden,and most lines in Denmark and Norway and find the route you are intested in.
Swedish only. Translations: Avståndsberäkning = calcuation of distance, Sträcka = stretch (enter from and to, full names or in Sweden also location codes), Hitta kortaste väg = find the shortest route (if you don't fill this box, you have to manually select where you have to go in each junction), Utan riktningsbyte = without change of direction. Click Sök (=search).
Ny sökning = search again, Fågelvägen är = the linear route is. As an example, you can find, that the linear route between Bodö in Norway and Narvik in Norway is 181 km, but the rail route via Storlien and the electrified line in Sweden is 2066 km.
Apart from tourist lines and industrial concerns, the only significant private railway is the Inlandsbanan from Mora to Brunflo and Östersund to Gällivare.
LKAB operates its own iron ore trains over Trafikverket (in Sweden) and Jernbaneverket (in Norway) lines from Gällivare, Kiruna and Svappavaara to Narvik and Luleå.
Other companies operating freight (and, in some cases, passenger) trains over Trafikverket lines are seen at Transportstyrelsen website. Here is a list of organisations holding valid permits to operate on the Trafikverket network or an independent network. Some operations are on behalf of Green Cargo and others at the private companies' own risk or for their own needs.
Under: Säkerhetsintyg (safety certificate) tick one of the following.:
- Alla typer (all types)
- Passagerartrafik (passenger)
- Godstrafik (freight)
- Endast växling (local shunting only)
Under: Nationellt trafiksäkerhetstillstånd (national rail safety permit)
- Alla typer (all types)
- Persontrafik eller museitrafik på lokal eller regional fristående järnvägsinfrastruktur (Passenger or heritage traffic on local or regional independent infrastructure)
- Godstrafik på järnvägsnät som inte förvaltas av staten och som endast används av ägaren eller infrastrukturförvaltaren för transporter av eget gods (Freight on a network which is not adminstred by the country of Sweden and which only is used by the owner or the adminstrator for own cargo)
Under:Farligt gods (Hazardous cargo)
- Visa alla tillstånd rörande farligt gods (show all permits concerning hazardous cargo)
There is a cost and some administrative work to retain a certificate. Normally no organisation has a certificate without a real need. Nevertheless, there are organisations which have, for example, a certificate for passenger service, without regularly operating any such service. Traction and stock leasing companies and suppliers to Trafikverket or the operators or to Trafikverket projects can have a certificate either for freight or for local shunting All entities have a 10 digit organisational number. Almost all preservation societies have numbers starting with 8.
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 Modelljärnvägsmagasinet, Stationsvägen 14, S-686 97 Lysvik, Sweden. Emai: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: "+46(0)565-801 06" . Tågsommar site. Links to most tourist lines and many other small museums, societies etc. are available here.
There is a listing of Swedish 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, Lund, Malmö (Malmö Stads Spårvägar Museiförening, summer weekend museum trams only see Spårvägssällskapet, Norrköping, Stockholm: Nockebybanan: Alvik – Nockeby, Tvärbanan: Sickla – Gullmarsplan – Liljeholmen – Alvik – Solna station and Alviks Strand - Bromma Flygplats (Airport) (all operated by VR Sverige). T-Centralen – Waldemarsudde is a normal public SL traffic using modern trams. Norrmalmstorg – Waldemarsudde is in operation using museum trams; both modern and museum trams as well as Lidingöbanan: Ropsten-Gåshaga are operated by AB Stockholms Spårvägar. Museispårvägen Malmköping is a tramway museum near Eskilstuna with a 2.6km operating line (also Spårvägssällskapet).
Details of these Tram systems with maps and track diagrams appear in Robert Schwandl's "Tram Atlas Nordeuropa"; ISBN 978-3-936573-63-3, 2021.
Track plans for the Göteborg, Lund, Norrköping and Stockholm tram systems are available on the Gleisplanweb site.
There is a basic route diagram for the Lund line at the Urbanrail.net site.
Recent and future changes
- Söderhamn - Kilafors (regularly used by the SJ Göteborg - Sundsvall - Duved/Umeå and v v night trains only). These night trains are rerouted from 10 Deccmber 2023. See openings.
- Hällnäs - Lycksele has closed for passenger traffic. The last train operated 9 December 2022. It will not reopen until the line is electrified. No funding is currently allocated to such a project, nor is any detail planning known. The sole DMU (Y31 1429) is badly needed elsewhere, all DMU operated lines in Sweden have reliability problems and too much replacement bus operation.
Openings and reopenings
- SJ night trains Göteborg - Sundsvall - Duved/Umeå and v v are rerouted between Storvik and Söderhamn from 10 December 2023, to use [Storvik - ] Hagaström - Gävle yard (using the East to Norch Gävle C avoiding chord - for staff change) - Strömsbro [ - Söderhamn]. This chord has not regularly been used for passenger trains before.
- The two first new tracks [Malmö - ] Arlöv - Klostergården [ - Lund] opened 2 October 2023, all four opened 8 October 2023.
- Teckomatorp - Åstorp reopened for regular passenger services 12 December 2021.
- A short branch of the SL Tvärbana tramway to Bromma Airport, line 31, should have opened 13 December 2020, but the tramway causes interference with the (outdated) radio system of the airport when temperatures are below +4 Deg C. However, this section opened 16 May 2021. The contact wire has on the critical section been replaced by a rail in the air which can be electrically heated.
- On 1 April 2021 passenger services resumed between Boden and Haparanda, now routed via the new electrified line from Kalix to Haparanda. Morjärv - Kalix - Haparanda has never before had regular passenger service.
- The new 5.5 km Lund tramway opened on 13 December 2020.
- X-tåget (Gävle - Ljusdal and Gävle - Sundsvall) will be transferred from Vy Tåg AB to VR Sverige AB on a new contract, which starts in June 2025 and lasts until December 2036 (!).
- The SL Pendeltåg (commuter trains) will be transferred from MTR to SJ on an "emergency contract" 3 March 2024. The contract is for two years with a possible extension for a maximum of two more years.
- Tåg i Bergslagen (TiB) will be transferred from SJ to VR Sverige in December 2023
- The Öresund trains were transferred back from SJ Öresund to Transdev on a temporary contract in December 2022.
- Upptåget (UL stopping services Uppsala - Gävle and Uppsala - Sala) were absorbed into Mälartåg from 12 June 2022 and are now operated by MTR.
- The SL Roslagsbana was transferred from Arriva to Transdev 13 April 2022.
- Krösatågen (the lingonberry trains) were transferred from Vy Tåg AB to SJ Krösa in December 2021. At the same time Kustpilen (the coastal arrow, Linköping - Kalmar and Linköping - Västervik) were included in Krösatågen and the name Kustpilen is no longer used.
- The regional trains in the Mälartåg area were transferred from SJ to MTR in December 2021: Stockholm - Eskilstuna - Örebro, Stockholm - Katrineholm - Hallsberg, Stockholm - Nyköping - Norrköping and Sala - Västerås - Eskilstuna - Linköping.
- Work is in progress to double several single track sections:
- The double-tracking of Hallsberg - Mjölby is progressing, albeit slowly. The last section, Hallsberg - Degerön, is split into six subsections. Three are complete and two currently in the construction phase. Work on the last subsection is planned to start in 2023. Completion of the entire project is currently estimated to be 2031.
- The double-tracking between Varberg and Hamra including a tunnel and new sub-surface platforms in Varberg is planned for completion December 2024.
- The double-tracking between Ängelholm and Maria (just North of Helsingborg C) is progressing, with completion planned for December 2023.
- TR Europe reported in July 2021 that quadrupling of the 20km Tomteboda to Kallhäll section of the Stockholm - Västerås - Örebro railway has commenced. This includes a 1.4km tunnel under Sundbyberg. No date has currently been announced for final completion.
- The new Stockholm Norvik port, located close to Nynäshamn was connected to the TrV network during Easter 2020. This link is 4.4 km and electrified.
Internet access in the Railway environment
Anyone with a Visa or Mastercard credit card, and a smartphone or a laptop with internet access, should be able to buy a ticket. Those with phones from operators based in the EU or EEA can use mobile internet without extra charge. Those from other countries should check the charges for using mobile Internet in Sweden.
Access in or near stations
Jernhusen, the state-owned railway property company provides free wi-fi (SSID=All Station Guests) at about 30 of the larger stations. To access this see Hitta din station. Scroll down to a map with orange circles to the left and the text “Alla stationer” (=all stations) to the right. Click on “Välj en station” (=select a station). A drop-down list will be displayed. Select the required station and scroll down to find the text “På stationen” (=at the station). If there is a box with the text “wifi”, there is wi-fi at the station.
There is also separate wi-fi provision in or very close to all Pressbyrån shops. If no signs are visible, ask at the shop for the network name (SSID). Outside many stations, at least in towns, wi-fi can often be found in coffee-shops or hamburger restaurants. It may also be provided in some libraries and public buildings such as town halls. For all wi-fi, the use of a VPN is, as always, strongly recommended, for both smartphones and laptops.
Access onboard trains
All Internet access is dependent on the mobile network, even if units have amplifiers. Access quality and speed vary a lot, and the signal or capacity can be insufficient in tunnels or in rural areas, in particular if there are many Internet users on the train.
SJ - There is free wi-fi on SJ Snabbtåg (X2000 and SJ3000), SJ double-decker (class X40) and carriages in the loco-hauled trains. Installation in the latter is still in progress, so check for the wi-fi symbol in the sj.se journey planner or SJ app response. The quality of the wi-fi is not as good in the hauled carriages as in the units. In the loco-hauled trains, there is a wi-fi router in each carriage so, if it doesn’t work in one carriage, try moving to another. The wi-fi name (SSID) is normally the carriage’s internal four-digit vehicle number: e.g., in carriage type B7 #5201 the SSID is 5201. The number is normally shown on the inside of the doors leading to the other carriages; if not, ask the guard.
Flixtrain - Free wi-fi is included if it is installed.
Inlandståget (Inlandsbanan) - No wi-fi.
MTRX - Free wi-fi is included.
Snälltåget - Free wi-fi is included if it is installed, at least within Sweden. For more detailed information, see: https://www.snalltaget.se/en/faq .
TÅGAB - No wi-fi.
Vy SE Trains - Free wi-fi is included if it is installed. Sleepers and first class are given priority for installation.
Joint ventures non-commercial operators / Public Transport Authorities:
All PTA trains have wi-fi, with these exceptions.
Krösatåg - No wi-fi on the main part of the network. However, trains within the Kalmar county (maintained at Kalmar depot) have wi-fi. It has been observed here, that while the wi-fi worked when there was signal, it stopped once the VPN software was turned on. Of course this may not apply to all different VPN software and all possible onboard equipment.
Norrtåg - Wi-fi on longer lines only. Since there are almost no short distances in this part of Sweden, ask the guard before testing.
Stockholm area (SL) - No wi-fi. But there are mobile network amplifiers in the Metro. This is also the least rural part of the country, and normal mobile phones should work almost anywhere.
Västtåg - No wi-fi on the main part of the network. However, EMU trainsets normally allocated to operating Göteborg - Karlstad (class X52E) have wi-fi. This is a cooperation with SJ and Värmlandståg.
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.
Swedish passenger carriages are larger than UIC standard vehicles and, apart from workings into Norway, are not permitted to carry passengers outside Sweden. 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 (the latter in summer only). The night trains between Sweden and Germany use carriages built to continental standards.
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.
There is a bulletin board, Postvagnen, for questions also in English, via www.sjk.se. It can also be accessed using www.postvagnen.com. Everyone can read, but only registered members of the Swedish Railway Society (SJK) can currently post messages.