MTR to launch open access train service in Sweden as European growth continues
13 November 2013 • Author: MTR
Sweden’s two largest cities – the capital Stockholm on the East coast and the second city of Gothenburg in the West – will soon be connected by a new open access express train service operated by the MTR Corporation.MTR, which also runs the large Stockholm Metro system in Sweden, will provide 110 weekly services in brand new trains on the 455 km route between Stockholm and Gothenburg.
The Stockholm-Gothenburg service is the latest development in MTR’s growth across Europe, which has already seen it expand London Overground under the LOROL joint venture, which now runs 1,200 services a day – up from 400 when LOROL took over in 2007. MTR is also shortlisted for four upcoming franchises and concessions in the UK namely, Thameslink, Essex Thameside, Crossrail and ScotRail.
MTR will invest over £66 million (700 million SEK) to purchase six all-new train sets to operate on the Swedish route. The trains will be designed and built to provide high-quality, reliable services in Nordic weather conditions. As part of the contract, the rolling stock manufacturer, Stadler Rail AG, will provide maintenance services for the new fleet.
MTR has overseen new fleet into service on London Overground where it introduced 244 new carriages between 2009 to 2011. In Hong Kong MTR has introduced 80 new carriages into service last year. The winning bidder of the Thameslink franchise and Crossrail concession will also need to oversee the introduction of entire new fleets of trains between 2015 and 2018.
“Our strategy is to bring a fast, new premium-quality service to Swedish intercity passengers. We believe this will not only be attractive to existing rail passengers, but will also draw other business and leisure travellers to choose rail over other modes of transport to commute between Sweden’s East and West coasts,” said Mr Jay Walder, Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation.
“Sweden is an important market for MTR and this new venture builds on the success we have achieved over the past four years in delivering enhanced services through our operation of the Stockholm Metro system,” Mr Walder added.
Jeremy Long, CEO of MTR Europe commented, “We are excited to be providing this new service to our passengers in Sweden. Introducing new trains to an existing route, in harsh weather conditions can be a challenge. We will draw on our local Swedish management, and our experience in this area from our operations around the world, including London Overground and Hong Kong”.
MTR Express will be operated by MTR Nordic, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation. Delivery of the new train sets is scheduled for Autumn 2014, and the MTR Express service will be launched following testing and commissioning of the new trains.
MTR has operated the Stockholm Metro since 2009.