More growth in EU cross-border night trains But many high barriers to entry must still be removed
In ten days’ time from now, on June 27th 2021, a new night train service of the long distance operator Snälltåget1 will depart from Stockholm to Berlin. It will be the first night train that runs in regular traffic between Sweden, Denmark and Germany since the 1990s. Yesterday, the start-up Midnight Trains announced plans to offer night trains between France & other countries. Clearly, private investors believe in night trains – and this will lead to modal shift. But more night time routes could be commercially viable – if only the high barriers to entry were removed.
COVID-19 in Sweden: the discrimination against long distance passenger rail must end
Despite being the country of Greta Thunberg, Sweden continues to treat airlines better during the current pandemic.
SWEDEN / DENMARK: direct awards for night trains are just a painkiller, not the remedy
The only night train operator between Sweden and Germany over the past eight years has been Snälltåget, a privately owned venture, doing it on a commercial basis without subsidy. Next year it will serve Denmark as well.
Now, state rail incumbents are lobbying for directly awarded taxpayer subsidy for night trains between the same countries - only for themselves.
SWEDEN: Result of government investigation confirms a serious problem in the rail ticket sales market. Urgent change is needed – all across Europe
Back In 2018, two new rail operators in Sweden (MTRX & Saga Rail) separately reported rail incumbent SJ to the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) for not allowing them to be either searched for or booked on SJ’s market dominant online rail ticket sales channel. In June 2019, after a thorough investigation, the SCA acknowleged the anti-competitive effects of the situation.
Competition Authority calls on government to regulate online rail ticket sales – to better serve consumers
Early last year, two new rail operators (MTR Express & Saga Rail) reported the Swedish rail incumbent SJ to the Swedish Competition Authority (‘SCA’) for not selling them on its dominant online rail ticket sales channels, distorting transparency for consumers. This month, the SCA announced that it agrees: “the dominant position of SJ in rail ticketing is detrimental to a functioning market”.