Transdev’s train service in Sweden, Snälltåget, plans to increase night train traffic to Berlin in 2021, with direct trains Stockholm – Malmö – Copenhagen – Hamburg – Berlin. However, during this summer, traffic will be suspended entirely due to the unclear government messages regarding travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delayed decisions, uncertainty about the future of the train ferry route Trelleborg – Sassnitz, quarantine rules in Germany and as a result many cancellations, we are forced to cancel the Berlin train for the rest of the 2020 summer. Instead, we choose to look ahead and plan for more departures when the pandemic is over, says Marco Andersson, Marketing Manager for Snälltåget.
Snälltåget plans for a completely new line for the Berlin train, which will depart from Stockholm and then stop in Södertälje, Norrköping, Linköping, Nässjö, Alvesta, Hässleholm, Eslöv, Lund, Malmö, Höje Taastrup (the Copenhagen area) first to arrive in Hamburg in the morning before the journey continues to Berlin.
-We believe that the travel market will look completely different after the COVID-19 pandemic, the demands for environmentally friendly travels by train between Sweden and the European continent will increase, and we are therefore planning for more departures and a completely new route for the Berlin train, says Marco Andersson.
The train will depart daily during the summer months of June, July and August and as a weekend train April, May and September. In total, the traffic will almost quadruple the number of departures compared to the traffic in 2019. In addition to Stockholm receiving direct trains to Berlin and Hamburg, Copenhagen will also receive direct night trains to Hamburg and Berlin.
Snälltåget’s overnight train to Berlin is operated only on ticket revenue and receives no government subsidies. Snälltåget has a critical attitude to the government’s planned procurement of night trains and believes that it distorts competition and creates new monopolies in the rail market – which is also contrary to the political objectives for the railways in the EU.
– We believe that the government should make it easier for all players to operate international trains and not subsidize an unprofitable night train Malmö – Cologne as proposed by the Swedish Transport Administration. We believe that the government should instead focus on making it easier for everyone who wants to operate, says Carl Adam Holmberg, Business Manager for Snälltåget.
The services Stockholm – Malmö – Copenhagen – Hamburg – Berlin will be operated with the international sleeper carriages that Snälltåget bought last fall, but it is also planned for seating carriages in the night train. In all three countries, traffic will be run on renewable electricity in order to minimize the environmental impact.
For more information, click here to visit Snälltåget’s website in English.